Tauranga mother of six fears homelessness again in fruitless search for rental accommodation

A Tauranga mother of six fears the city’s unaffordable rental market will force her family into homelessness – again.

Tangiwhetu Williams, 34, her six children aged 4 to 15, and her 25-year-old partner, Michael Sabbeth, live in one of Te Tuinga Whanau Social Services Trust’s emergency houses in Greerton.

The eight family members share two bedrooms, and another family lives in the third.

The tidy house is packed but warm and dry – and Williams says many miles better than the cars and tents they slept in last winter.

She says the pressure of finding a home feels “non-stop”.

“Sometimes I don’t know how to deal with it.”

William’s housing issues began in 2014 when the family left Auckland, where they had a five-bedroom Manurewa rental, for Whakatane.

They had stints in a rental, staying with family and in an emergency house and in early 2017 moved to Tauranga to be closer to Sabbeth’s work. He has a full-time job installing insulation – the family’s sole income, about $900 a week.

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