Kids in vans, kids in boarding houses – one year on, what’s changed?

Kids in vans, kids in boarding houses - one year on, what's changed?

Opinion – This time last year I wrote about the shameful number of children living in cars and vans. Twelve months on, and with an election looming, what’s changed?

Perhaps we should ask a 13-year-old boy living with his family in a single bedroom at an Auckland boarding house: “As my brother and I are getting older, we want our own rooms away from our parents because it doesn’t feel normal. Children at school wouldn’t understand how hard it is at times. I never let anyone know that I stay in a lodge because it is embarrassing.”

We’ve swapped cars for hostels, vans for motels.

Now instead of children trying to do homework by streetlamp, we have them sharing bathroom facilities with adult strangers in lodges.

And behind these children are parents, with often at least one in work, who are unable to source adequate housing. No one should be living like this, particularly children in a wealthy developed country with a ‘rock star economy’.

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