Sin­gle men suf­fer in hous­ing cri­sis

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

As emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion in Porirua gets stretched, it is sin­gle men who are fall­ing through the cracks, says Mana MP Kris Faafoi.

Faafoi said Hous­ing New Zealand needed to pro­vide more emer­gency hous­ing in Porirua.

He said about a third of the people who came through his of­fice were there about hous­ing is­sues.

Many of those were sin­gle men who were liv­ing rough af­ter not be­ing con­sid­ered high on the hous­ing pri­or­ity list.

Porirua emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion was al­ready stretched af­ter two build­ings in the old Kenepuru Hospi­tal grounds were closed in Fe­bru­ary.

Aotea Camp­ing Ground is used for emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion, but if the pro­posed Aotea Count­down su­per­mar­ket went ahead, it would close, Faafoi said.

‘‘It will get pretty bad then,’’ he said.

‘‘That’s an­other op­tion taken away from them.

‘‘There’s such a short sup­ply for people. Those are some­times the only op­tions men have.’’

Aotea Camp­ing Grounds owner Peter Hunt­ing­ton said if the camp­ing ground closed the emer­gency hous­ing would go with it.

‘‘[The ac­com­mo­da­tion] will all have to stop,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s go­ing to have a big im­pact on Porirua.’’

He said he turned away two to three people a week who needed emer­gency hous­ing.

‘‘We help the com­mu­nity in a large way. Un­for­tu­nately we don’t have enough hous­ing.’’

Hunt­ing­ton said he re­ceived calls from the Sal­va­tion Army, Porirua Po­lice and other com­mu­nity groups on a weekly ba­sis.

‘‘A lot [of people] come off the street.’’

The camp­ing ground has 15 small cab­ins and four large ones.

Hunt­ing­ton said the cab­ins were al­ways full.

The emer­gency hous­ing situ- ation is com­pli­cated.

Hous­ing New Zealand man­ages the state houses and the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment man­ages the wait­ing list.

Kapi-Mana News had sev­eral ques­tions about emer­gency hous­ing, but nei­ther depart­ment was able to an­swer them. We were re­ferred to Porirua City Coun­cil, which said the is­sue came un­der the aus­pices of cen­tral govern­ment.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

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