Families with children kicked out of state housing for not paying their rent

Families with children are being kicked out of state housing for not paying their rent.

1 NEWS has obtained figures under the Official Information Act which show Housing New Zealand evicted 87 families between 2014-15 and 2017-18.

An eviction is the most drastic action a landlord can take against a tenant and is usually used as a last resort.

It involves the courts and a bailiff, who is someone who has the same powers as a police officers, to force tenants out.

Housing New Zealand evicted 21 families for illegal activity like drug use, while antisocial behaviour including abuse towards neighbours forced another 13 out.

The largest number of state tenants evicted were the 45 families who did not pay their rent, one of those was a woman and eight children.

Chief operating officer Paul Commons said it's "absolutely not right to put anyone on the street without doing everything we can to support them."

He says evictions are rare and most result from Housing New Zealand's inability to get a "constructive conversation with someone".

"An eviction is the result of a very, very long process where we've exhausted every possibility of supporting a tenant to maintain their circumstances," Mr Commons said.

The Salvation Army would prefer that tenants are left where they are, otherwise it just creates another social problem.

"It would be best to keep those kids housed keep the family together and work on a solution," said Major Pam Waugh.

"We'd like to see them (Housing New Zealand) formulate policies around who the client is so face to face work with the client understand their needs understand their situation," she said.

Housing New Zealand is currently reviewing its policies, but says the woman with eight kids has a house to live in.

The shocking admission by Housing New Zealand has social agencies pleading for a more compassionate approach to be taken to housing the vulnerable. Source: 1 NEWS