PHOTO: A child on a bike at an emergency accommodation motel. Photo credit: RNZ
There are fears Aotearoa could end up with a ‘motel generation’ as whānau struggling to afford rents are bumped across emergency accommodation providers.
Latest figures show there are more than 4000 children living in emergency accommodation – mainly motels – with more than 1000 of those living there for up to a year.
At 31 December 2020, there were 4137 children living in motels, according to the latest figures from the Ministry for Social Development. Single parents with children made up the second highest household group.
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Auckland has the biggest numbers, followed by Hastings and Rotorua – but the problem is nationwide.
Barnardos Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay service manager Joan-Ella Ngata (Ngāti Porou and Tūhoe), said they were seeing lots of children in motels in her rohe – and she feared for the long-term consequences.
“My concern is, with this motel-generation children, is that they won’t actually have the stability, or know what it’s like to have a solid foundation – somewhere they can call home.”
She said she recently met a four-year-old boy who had moved seven times.
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