1 Jun 2016

Housing found for homeless baby and whānau

6:53 pm on 1 June 2016

A two-week-old baby and her parents have found a new home after more than 100 people offered spare rooms to homeless people staying at an Auckland marae.

Te Puea Marae

The baby and her parents have been rehoused by Te Puea Memorial Marae. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

More than 40 families are staying at Te Puea Memorial Marae in Mangere Bridge, which has a waiting list of people needing accommodation.

The baby and her parents, who had been sleeping in a tent, are among 10 families who have been rehoused by the marae.

Its chairperson, Hurimoana Dennis, said more were being placed today.

He said a facility should be created in Auckland, possibly staffed by the armed services, which could provide the same temporary help.

"The words that keep coming up - overcrowding, eviction and... poverty.

"These three words just keep coming up in all the conversations that I've had with clients."

Mr Dennis said if agencies were keen to get into manageable mode, then there needed to be urgent consideration for a facility in Auckland where families could go to get accommodation.

Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley said two Work and Income staff would be based at the marae to offer help to people over the next few days.

The ministry has also offered training to marae staff on the types of Work and Income help available.

There are 33 Work and Income offices in Auckland, including one in Mangere and 11 in South Auckland, which all provide support and advice on a range of issues, including housing and access to benefits, she said.

A community meeting is being held at the marae tonight to co-ordinate all the offers of help that have come in.

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