Almost one billion dollars every three months, that's how much the Government is spending on housing support as it tries to plug gaps in social housing.
Currently, they spend increasing amounts on housing support - things like rent subsidies, grants, and emergency housing – which as a result saw the bill total nearly $1 billion between last September and December, up nearly $30 million on the previous quarter.
Economic commentator Bernard Hickey told 1 NEWS the soaring figures simply aren’t sustainable.
“We now have tens of thousands of kids who are growing up stressed, not healthy, not being fed properly, often in really dangerous situations because their parents are stressed,” he said.
“Their brains are going to be permanently affected and over the coming decades, we're all going to have to pay for that - for health, education, justice costs, and the lost economic output of poor productivity of these kids.”
The Government says its increasing costs are in line with the skyrocketing housing market, adding it's on track to build 18,000 new social houses by 2024.
But demand is outstripping supply and there's also concern from people like politician John Tamihere over building limits in Auckland.
Tamihere is taking an Auckland Council body - Panuku Development - to the Human Rights Tribunal over a 30 per cent cap to limit social housing at a planned complex in South Auckland.
“Poor people aren't bad people, poor people are trying,” Tamihere said.
“They shouldn't be demonised and they shouldn't be locked out of chances.”
Panuku declined an interview because the situation is before the tribunal.