Transitional housing complex giving families hope

transitional housing

Five families have already moved out of a new transitional housing complex run by De Paul House into their own home, says board chair Brendan Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was speaking at the formal opening of De Paul House’s new 10-unit transitional housing complex in Northcote, Auckland.

Opened only in December 2021, the transitional housing complex has already housed 13 families with 18 adults and 13 children says Fitzgerald.

Built on the site formerly occupied by Hato Petera College, Northcote and owned by the Auckland Catholic diocese, the transitional housing units are the latest addition to the charity’s increasing number of properties that provide safe, warm and healthy places for families facing homelessness.

De Paul House currently runs a total of 44 transitional housing facilities accommodating 60 families – 89 adults and 170 children. It is a non-denominational service.

“The thing that is different about these (new) units is they are bigger,” says De Paul House general manager Jan Rutledge, QSM.

Bigger families “are hardest to house, both to secure permanent housing, but also transitional housing,” she says.

Rutledge says that apart from the transitional and social housing, they have one property they are renting out.

“It’s a new model. We’ve been offered it rent-free by a very philanthropic Catholic landlord,” she said.

“We have moved one family through after three years into home ownership,” she said.

Auckland diocese general manager James van Schie called the opening of the new transitional units a “proud day for the Hato Petera legacy.

“We’ve been working to repurpose the wider site.

“It is a great opportunity to address the critical housing shortage in our city and diocese,” he said.

van Schie says there is a lot of opportunity at the four-hectare-plus site and the diocese wants to see the site really shine again to meet a contemporary need.

He said the diocese is actively involved and supporting the charitable outreach of De Paul House at the former school.

The diocese is doing its part to hold the site together he said.

“Bishop Patrick Dunn made that commitment, that we weren’t looking to sell or alienate this land. I think this place will be a real beacon of hope for the future.”

transitional housing

View inside one of the De Paul House transitional housing units

Current Auckland bishop Stephen Lowe blessed framed inspirational images that will adorn each of the ten units.

“This land teems with life, but unfortunately not everybody in our society gets that same access to the basics of life,” Lowe said.

Calling the housing crisis something the nation should be ashamed of, Lowe told the De Paul House team that they flavour the lives of the people they serve with hope.

“You give them care that they need and link them with the people who can help them and journey with them,” he said.

Talking at the opening, Associate Housing minister Poto Williams says the Government remains committed to “ending homelessness.”


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