Housing crisis hits Tauranga, say welfare groups

Sunday 31 July 2005

People are sleeping in cars, under trees and in parks because they cannot afford housing in the western Bay of Plenty, according to welfare agencies.

By The Landlord

Tauranga's Salvation Army is being forced to turn down about 10 accommodation requests a week.

There are also 91 people classified as having a severe or significant persistent need of a Housing New Zealand home.

"A lot of people come for the kiwifruit season, and then they run out of money and lose their rental accommodation," said Salvation Army director of community services Major Clive Nicholson.

Many people were lured to the area by its seaside lifestyle and associated warm climate but couldn't afford to live there. So many resorted to sleeping in their cars or wherever they could find shelter, he said.

In the next month or so, the Salvation Army intends to present Tauranga City Council with plans for a new million-dollar accommodation shelter.

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