Park Up for Homes gets heavyweight backing

Park Up for Homes gets heavyweight backing

More than 100 people braved one of the coldest nights of the year to sleep in their cars. It's part of an on-going drive to highlight the lack of affordable housing in Auckland.

Parked up, rugged up, and with only a candle for light, Male Puru is braving a bitterly cold Auckland winter evening to overnight in a Onehunga carpark.

She is one of about 150 people taking part in the latest park-up protest against a lack of affordable housing in Auckland.

"I am already starting to appreciate life and what we have back at home compared to what people go through every day, yeah," she says.

This is not the first of the Park Up for Homes event, but it's the first with this kind of heavyweight backing.

Boxer David Tua and his wife possibly had the smallest car at the protest, but they're hoping their message packs a punch for the Government.

"I do really hope they will sit up and listen and take notice of what's going on and happening, and they need to come out and see how these people are living," Tua says. "This land of Aotearoa doesn't deserve to be like what's happening right now."

Organisers say they're trying to pressure the Government into creating a safety net for people who are being forced out of housing and squeezed into cars and garages.

Just today the Government announced a $1 billion fund to kick-start building in areas where houses are needed most.

"We are pleased that the Government is taking notice. I think it is starting to achieve some of the things we set out to do," says Justin Latif.

This protest may not be a true representation of homelessness, but it's one night to raise awareness of a bleak reality where not enough people get to go to sleep with a roof over their heads.