Insufficient emergency housing for needy families
Families are struggling to find affordable houses to rent, putting pressure on emergency accommodation, a social worker says.
"Rising house prices mean that private rentals are scarce and those that are available are just too expensive and beyond the reach of our families which leave them limited options," de Paul House manager Catherine McClintock says.
Housing New Zealand is the only affordable option but has little available.
"And recent government policy to sell off these assets is making the situation worse," Ms McClintock says.
Northcote's de Paul House receives up to 10 calls a day from homeless families needing accommodation, she says.
But only nine families can be accommodated there at a time.
De Paul House has hosted more than 740 families in its 27 years working in the community.
Ms McClintock says 90 per cent of them now live independently.
"Prior to our intervention they were transient and children often attended five or more schools in their first year."
Literacy and budgeting courses are two ways struggling families can get back on their feet financially and take steps towards independent living, she says.
Social work and counselling, which de Paul House provides, also help. The charitable organisation's new learning and childcare centre was opened on Wednesday, providing extended services for families.
Call de Paul House on 480 5959 or email Catherine@depaulhouse.org.nz for more information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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