Homelessness jumps up in Tauranga

The number of homeless people in Tauranga has increased 20 per cent in the past year.

A steep rise in house prices and competition for jobs in the Bay of Plenty city led to the number of people without homes jumping to 470.

The city was identified as the most unaffordable in the country a month ago.

Tulip Tarawa, a mother of three, said she wanted to eventually own her own home to give her children a stable future.

"For years we’ve been going house to house and I’ve been trying to get rentals over the years but I just haven’t, like, succeeded.

"We ended up here because the last place we were staying at was full. There was, like, heaps of people there and then we ended up having nowhere to go at all."

She has recently been able to find temporary housing thanks to Te Tuinga Whānau, a support service dedicated to finding emergency housing for the homeless in Tauranga.

The housing service is also looking after Lauren Simeon, a young mother of two who arrived in Tauranga in December.

She says a bad personal situation meant she had no option but to leave Palmerston North, where she was living with her two children.

"When I left Palmerston North, I sort of at the same time left all my main support as well. I stayed with friends and family in Palmy and Auckland, and Hamilton.

"At the time, I was actively looking for housing but I just didn’t have any luck. I probably applied for almost 200 houses."

She has been repeatedly rejected because of a bad credit history.

She too wants a better life for her children, and that’s something the team at Te Tuinga Whanau also hope they can give her. At a hui yesterday the organisation discussed ways to combat the homelessness problem.

One plan put forward was "The Happy Puku", which Te Tuinga Whanau’s executive director Tommy Wilson said would help teach people how to cook good food, find jobs and be more financially responsible.

"It’s all very well, you can put families in houses but if they’ve never learned how to pay rent or to keep a whare clean, or how to cook good kai, they’re eventually going to come back again, eh."

The Ministry for Social Development has teamed up with another support group for the homeless called The People’s Project as part of the government’s Housing First plan.

The group was hoping to house 100 people in Tauranga.


2 Comments

Sickening Maildrop, for sure.

Posted on 21-02-2018 22:00 | By Bruja

What is actually sickening Maildrop is that there is a sickening lack of rental accommodation available, This is almost entirely due to the previous National government’s sell-off of state housing, social housing etc etc. AND because of the sickening number of sickeningly wealthy off-shore buyers that that same government allowed AND encouraged to buy homes in New Zealand. Those people have SO MUCH money that they paid sickeningly high prices for those homes. That has given this country sickeningly, outrageously over-inflated housing prices leading to a sickening homelessness crisis and sickeningly outrageous rental charges that take around 70% of decent, working and non-working Kiwis incomes each and every week!!! It’s sickening alright!!! A 20% increase in HOMELESSNESS in Tauranga in ONE YEAR!!!!! UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL and yes, sickening! :(

Sickening

Posted on 21-02-2018 16:51 | By maildrop

Well they managed to find a bed enough times to knock out a basket full of kids. Its a lifestyle choice by the sounds of it. Lucky for them the loony left are in and will fix everything with their bottomless pot of my money. I sense their hard times will be about to get easier. Maybe time to knock a few more kids out once they are settled in a nice new state house?

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