'I want us to have a home' - family of 10 living in cramped South Auckland motel room




Living in a cramped South Auckland motel since April, all one family of 10 has to console themselves is a vague reassurance "you're on the high priority list" for a state home.

Te Aroha says "the most difficult part is not having your own space".
Source: 1 NEWS

The growing number of homeless New Zealanders on the waiting list for state accommodation has now passed 5000, and some social services believe it's going to get worse before it gets better.

"I believe we're going to have another one or two winters where we're still going to see this chronic homelessness being highlighted," Monte Cecilia Housing Trust’s chief executive Bernie Smith said.

"The availability of affordable and homes that are warm and secure, they are just not there, the government's really been caught with its trousers down."

For the family their day to day experience living in a motel is not just a number on a list that can be ignored.

"The most difficult part of it is not having your own space," mother Te Aroha says.

"I want us to have a home, so we can be settled again and have a routine."

The Government is now spending nearly $140,000 a day on emergency hotel and motel placements, as it tries to stem the growing homeless problem.

"They still deny there's a housing crisis, they are far too slow to build houses, they've built hardly any and they've allowed this housing crisis to get so far out of control, we now have one of the highest rates of homelessness in the world," Labour housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.

But Housing Minister Amy Adams says providing hotel and motel accommodation in the interim for families waiting for a state house is going the extra mile.

"We're not prepared to say to people OK you're on the list, wait for a house, we're also making sure there's somewhere safe to stay in the meantime," Mrs Adams said.

"There's no doubt that as we've seen affordable issues in some of our bigger cities, shortage of supply of the lower quartile rental properties, that's flown through to the rental market and therefore social housing."

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