Glen Innes community draw attention to the housing crisis

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

An overnight tent occupation is about to get underway around empty homes in East Auckland's Glen Innes to draw attention to the housing crisis.Despite the rain, organisers expect a turnout of between 50 to 100 people to come out in support of the protest.

Yvonne Dainty says there are too many unoccupied state homes in Auckland and given the city's homeless, that's not acceptable.

"It's a human right to homes, and they should not be homeless, they should not be staying in motels, this is we're in a crisis. The government must understand they are now in the breech."

Under Tamaki Regeneration, there are 109 vacant homes in Auckland. 41 will be redeveloped, 35 will undergo major repair, the remainder have fire or structural damage and eight will be tenanted.

Local resident Ioela Routi says, “I want them to take the boards off all houses that they've boarded up and house the people.”

Minister of Housing New Zealand Bill English says, “The government agencies are working to make sure every home that can be available is available in Auckland.  There's no reason at all why we would be holding back on houses that could be occupied by families who need them.”

In April this year, the ownership and management of 2800 social homes was transferred from Housing NZ to Tamaki Regeneration Company. However, they are not an emergency housing provider but support local entities that address the needs of the homeless.

Dainty says, “We're in the land of the living. These are children that are directly affected. These are whānau. This is a generation that is currently affected by homeless.”

Dainty says they will call on the Attorney General again for an inquiry into the matter and will take their concerns to the UN if necessary.