Unaffordable housing raises great concern

By Aroha Treacher

Many families are living in unacceptable housing conditions or no housing at all, claims a housing advocate, wading through the red tape of government agencies when applying for houses is leaving many in limbo.

Kevin Swannell from Limitless Hope says, “One of the most common pathways we've personally found dealing with homelessness is tragedy; somebody experiences tragedy in their life followed up by bad decisions and choices.”

Kevin and his wife, Kiri Swannell help the needy through their charity (Limitless Hope). They've come across desperate families sleeping in tents and caravans, even cars.

“The price of rentals is skyrocketing for a lot of people, especially if they're on benefits. There's only a certain amount you can get on an accommodation supplement and sometimes people are going without food just to put a roof over their head,” says Kiri.

Labour MP, Meka Whaitiri says there is too much red tape in the way of people trying to access liveable housing.

According to Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox, “The government really needs to start supporting these families, instead of bogging them down with red tape when it comes to applying for suitable housing.”