Housing crisis hits Tauranga, forcing families into garages and cars

Tauranga is now forced to combat a homelessness issue it has never before witnessed as Auckland’s housing shortage ripples across the country.

A picture is emerging of just how widespread the homeless problem is in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

Schools in the city, with a reputation for affluence, are reporting desperate families living in garages.

"[The] housing situation is real bad here we have no homes that are available," resident Maz Adams told ONE News, who has some family members sleeping rough.

"We have no choice but to either resort to grabbing a tent and parking up in a park."

Merivale School principal Jan Tinetti said the booming property market in Auckland, just a mere 200km away, is having serious implications on the living standards in the Bay of Plenty city.

"People are selling up and we've got Aucklanders moving down buying up the houses, even site unseen," she said.

He said the school has as many as 10 families living out of their cars.

"[Children] can't concentrate on learning … that's not their number one priority basic living needs are their number one priority at the moment," Ms Tinetti said.

"They actually have nowhere else to go, they can't rely on whanau because whanau have 20 odd people living in their house already, and yes I have been to houses where I've seen 20 odd people living in a house with one bedroom and one toilet."

There were 190 homes sold in Tauranga last month, a 32 per cent increase from the same period last year when 144 houses were sold.