A Wellington woman says she tries to save $4 a day to help pay her rent by forcing her kids to walk to school, no matter how bad the weather gets.
Katerina Taliau lives in a Wellington council flat in Newtown with her cleaner husband and their four boys.
MPs from Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party are hearing submissions on the last day of their homelessness inquiry.
"We are the people who have low incomes, working so hard to raise our kids," Ms Taliau told MPs.
"If I hear from the Government saying they need better education for the kids, for the future, for the country, how can we do it if we have to pay higher rent from our low income.
"It's hard for me, pretending I can't see the bad weather outside, sending my son to walk to school in all sorts of weather, cold, raining, trying to save the $4 a day to make up the rent by the end of the week, because it's way too high for us," she said in tears.
"This is why we wanted to raise our voice."
Economist Shamubeel Equab told MPs the first step needed to help solve the housing crisis is for Housing New Zealand to build more houses.
He says housing is a right and has also called for more rental security for tenants.
Today is the last day of the inquiry.