Paeroa whānau dreading eviction and homelessness

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The housing shortage is also affecting provincial townships. A family of seven will be homeless come the weekend despite three months searching in Paeroa and neighbouring districts for a new home. Two grandparents, their four grandchildren, and their deaf niece will be evicted on Friday and with winter coming they have nowhere else to go.

Another family soon to be homeless.

Grandmother Tania McCaskill says, “I said to him yesterday I can't carry on like this trying to find a house. It is a burden and it's heartbreaking. I feel like I'm failing my mokos I can't provide a roof over their heads."

They have struggled to find a new rental property for the past three months. This Friday they will be evicted along with their four mokopuna and their deaf niece who are all aged between 7 and 12.

"We've got our names down at every real estate around here and we've tried Housing New Zealand (HNZ). There's three other whānau I know that are with HNZ that are living in motels that are lined up for this beautiful 4- bedroom house so we've probably got a no show for getting that anyway,” says McCaskill.

The have sought houses in Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi, Matamata, Morrinsville, Otirini, and the Hauraki Gulf.  But there are no properties for this family of seven.

McCaskill says, "Watching the news and seeing all the other Whanau that share the same situation as ourselves...I carry their mamae (hurt) with me as well knowing that that could be us in a couple of days’ time as well".

Meanwhile, Hariata Sorenson has opened her own doors to another family recently homeless.

"If that was my son or any of my family on the streets with their babies would somebody lend a hand? I think that's why I did it,” she says.

Ms. Sorenson's house is at full capacity while she aids another whānau to find accommodation. So come Friday Tania's whānau will go to Kerepehi for the weekend and stay with family while they continue to search for a home.