Budget 2016 - Whānau in need sceptical about housing relief

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

Community groups providing support for homeless families are sceptical about whether this year's budget will provide any relief for them.

Annette Coy, a solo mum of five children arrived at Te Puea marae this morning and has been waiting to be placed in affordable housing for the last five months.

“After the rent goes out, the power and food, there's more or less nothing left,”  says Ms. Coy from the tribe of Ngāti Porou.

Today the government announced $100mil will go towards freeing up surplus Crown land for housing developments in Auckland.  But whether there will be immediate relief for people like Annette remains to be seen.

Darryl Evans, CEO of Māngere Budgeting Service says “We need national government, central government talking together to fast track process so we can build state houses at a quicker pace.”

Last year $52.2 million was spent on housing development on crown owned land in Auckland.  Families here at Te Puea marae say they haven't seen any benefits from that spend and believe they won't see any relief in this year's allocation.

Te Puea Marae guest, Tony LePage says, “they need to focus on finding housing for people with young children.  It's for the future benefit, not just immediately."

Paula Bennett also announced up to 150 families will be offered $5000 to move to empty state homes outside Auckland.

“I would suggest that there're a couple of thousand families around Aotearoa, that are sleeping in a car tonight,” says Mr. Evans

“Have a heart for our people, our people are suffering and really to buck up your ideas,” says Ms. Coy

Another issue for most homeless families here at Te Puea is whether they are willing to move into state homes outside of Auckland.