More than 23,000 people are now homeless in Auckland, 3000 more than there were four years ago, according to an Auckland Council estimate.
The council's homelessness policy project, which is aiming to identify the scale of the problem and what can be done, puts the city's homeless number at 23,409, or nearly the population of Blenheim.
The number includes those sleeping rough or in cars, in emergency housing, couch surfing or living in garages.
It was estimated 20,296 were homeless at the 2013 census, when the mean rent was $468 a week. It has since risen to $544.
The project notes there is little focus on ending or preventing homelessness.
Meanwhile, a south Auckland church is organising a hikoi next weekend to highlight the plight of the homeless, following a second death of someone living on the streets.
"This is about making everyone aware of what's really happening on our streets and saying we will not allow one more homeless person to die," Manurewa Methodist Parish's Reverend Vaitu'ulala Ngahe.
Last Tuesday a homeless man was found dead outside the church.
During winter Manurewa needed somewhere warm, safe and dry where homeless people could also get fed, says Waka of Caring's Debbie Munroe.
"People are dying and getting sick because they are living on the streets or in their cars. We must act now," she said.
The Hikoi for Hope for the Homeless will start from the Manurewa Methodist Church car-park at midday on June 29.
2013 AUCKLAND HOMELESS ESTIMATES:
* 771 sleeping rough
* 3175 in emergency housing, campgrounds, motels etc
* 16,350 couch surfing in houses
* unknown number living in uninhabitable buildings, such as garages and sheds.