Māori homeless solution needed - Te Matapihi on Radio Waatea

Radio Waatea

The national independent Māori housing network is warning any solution for homelessness needs to take into account Māori cultural differences.

Many submitters have been pointing a cross party inquiry into homelessness in the direction of the Canadian Housing First model, which puts long term homeless into accommodation and then wraps services around them.

But Jade Kake from Te Matapihi told the inquiry studies show it hasn’t been effective with Canada’s indigenous populations.

She says one solution here would be to fund mataawaka organisations like urban authorities and marae as well as iwi health and social service agencies to deliver resources.

"Where they don’t yet have the capacity, they should partner with mainstream providers and because a lot of mainstream provuiders have the track work and experience and are the ones servicing our people, they need to be provided with cultural competency training so they are better equipped to do their jobs," Ms Kake says.

Housing First can’t be the only solution available, as there will continue to be a need for safe accommodation for women and their families fleeing domestic violence.