Housing New Zealand has revealed just how big a challenge it faces after telling 1 NEWS it expects 16,000 more families will need social housing over the next decade.
One family, solo mother Josephine and her two boys, have been living in an Auckland boarding house for two months.
"I've been on the housing register since before my son was born, so he's two in September," Josephine said.
She is one of 8000 on the government's waiting list who have nowhere to call home.
Housing New Zealand expects demand will only increase, with another 16,000 houses needed over the next decade at a rate of 1600 a year.
"That's not the limit to our development, as I explained - that's just the growth," Housing New Zealand General Manager Asset Development Group's Patrick Dougherty said.
Up to 2000 houses are already under construction, including a $15.6 million housing development in Auckland's Waterview.
Housing New Zealand will contribute 70 per cent of the funds needed to build new homes, buy private ones and develop existing stock to help reach the 16,000-home target.
Other social housing providers will cover the remaining 30 per cent.
"It hasn't all come on in a hurry - it's taken some time to get the momentum up," Mr Dougherty said.
"Three years ago, I think we were delivering like a couple of hundred a year and since that time, we've been effectively doubling our output every year."
Recent figures show Housing New Zealand has spent $132 million dollars to build 360 new homes, $333 million on redeveloping current stock, and almost half a billion dollars on buying 560 existing houses.