17 May 2016

Fears housing shortage will lead to 'slums'

6:43 pm on 17 May 2016

More than half the congregation at a South Auckland church is struggling with housing issues, it says.

Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga representative Lupe Tukutau

Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga representative Lupe Tukutau Photo: RNZ / Mohammed Hussein

Housing groups say the number of people living out of cars or garages is getting out of control, with many families on Housing New Zealand wait-lists for years.

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in New Zealand said more than half of the 30 families at its Otara church were waiting for help, and were forced to live in homes with two or three families.

A representative, Lupe Tukutau, said the situation continued to worsen, and she didn't see a way out.

"When I walk down to the bus stop I go 'what would this area be like in 5-10 years time...slums?'

"More people building their own tents because the population is increasing and there's more people needing housing."

Work and Income needed to do a better job to help these families, she said.

She said the pressure of living conditions was pushing up crime rates in the area.

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