Topic: Housing

Manurewa Marae want to stay open for homeless

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

Manurewa marae is seeking to keep their doors open, after their 12 week Whakapiki Ora homeless programme ends in November.  Marae CEO Lorraine Byers says they want to become an accommodation provider with WINZ, to help the many struggling families who cannot afford to rent. 

Helping the homeless into affordable housing has been the focus for Lorraine Byers and her team for the last 8 weeks. 

They're in talks with MSD to keep their ancestral meeting house of Matukurua open as an emergency housing provider for families in need.

“We're in a situation that I've never seen before, where the average whānau are struggling to be able to afford the rental incomes, private rental incomes currently.  Those are things that need to be addressed in order for there to be change,” said Ms. Byers.

Since Whakapiki Ora began in August, they've assisted 72 families made up of 112 adults and 133 children.  16 whānau have been housed.

There are currently four whānau waiting for keys to new houses as we speak, but organisers say it's difficult to house larger families wanting 4 plus bedrooms.

Whakapiki Ora Māori spokesperson, Tunuiarangi McLean said, “Firstly we are still supported by Te Puea marae, they still come to help, secondly the groups within Manurewa.”

A whānau concert called "Raise The Roof" will take place on Sunday to raise funds to repair the roofs of their ancestral house and dining room.