1000-plus Wellingtonians hunker down for winter on state house waiting list

Wainuiomata mother-of-three Rebecca knows how hard it is to be a number on the ever-increasing waiting list for social housing.

For the past month she has slept in her car, which has now broken down, while her children – all aged under 8 – were staying with their grandparents.

Rebecca, who did not want her last name used, was on the waiting list for a Housing NZ home and had applied for about a dozen private rentals in the area. But with 30 to 50 people turning up for viewings, she has not stood a chance against childless couples, many of whom are from Wellington city.

New figures show more than 1000 people from across the Wellington region are heading into winter on the rapidly-growing waiting list for social housing as some hunker down in garages, cars and tents.

Nationally, the number of households on the list has skyrocketed to 7890 – an increase of 26 per cent, which Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says is the biggest in four years.

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