Half of those experiencing homelessness in Aotearoa are under the age of 25 and new research has identified key contributing factors to the ongoing crisis.
Ngā Wai a Te Tūī Researchers, Jacqueline Paul and Maia Ratana in collaboration with Manaaki Rangatahi ki Tāmaki Makaurau Youth Homelessness Collective have released a research report exposing a severe lack of reliable data, services, resources, and funding targeting youth homelessness.
Manaaki Rangatahi ki Tāmaki Makaurau Youth Homelessness Collective gives rangatahi experiencing homelessness a voice through providing advocacy support across social services and the housing system.
Lead Co-Ordinator of Manaaki Rangatahi Bianca Johanson says kaupapa and rangatahi Māori led research into homelessness is decades overdue.
“We have been waiting for data and research that is kaupapa Māori led, that shines a light on the exhausting and painful human rights issue that is our rangatahi having nowhere to go that is safe, warm, and provides manaakitanga.”
The report found policy provisions addressing youth homelessness are ineffective and highlighted the complete absence of clear pathways helping guide and support young people into safe and secure housing.
Maia Ratana says, “We are incredibly concerned about the lack of oversight across the housing system with regards to young people experiencing homelessness. A lack of coordination between agencies and services, gaps in research and data, and poor policy and service provision contributes to young people’s challenges and inability to access social and housing support.”
Bianca says, “There is much more mahi to do, but this amazing rangahau gives us hope that we can begin to show the extent of the shameful youth housing crises that we are currently facing. We must all mahi together to prevent and end youth homelessness forever.”
The authors would like to acknowledge that the report was written over the past year (2021-2022) and recognise the significant investment in Budget 2022 to support transitional housing for youth. In addition, the government investment in research to support youth and children is commendable. The research team and Manaaki Rangatahi will collaborate and undertake further research into youth homelessness in a new MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) Endeavour-funded research programme Generation Kāinga: Rangatahi building a regenerative and resilient Aotearoa (2022-2026).
The full research report can be found at Youth Homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand.