Auckland man gets house after 30 years of homelessness

An Auckland man who has been homeless for more than 30 years has finally been given a roof over his head, electricity and hot and cold running water.

Rob Marriner moved into his own rental accommodation four nights ago. Mr Marriner used to live in a derelict house in the city's west.

At any one time he said there were around eight homeless people sleeping.

But Mr Marriner says it was better than living under a bridge. He went through a rough patch as a teenager and left home.

Now he finally has a home to call his own. But his good luck has come about only because of the loss of his best friend.

Newshub first met Mr Marriner in March at a carving programme run by Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust.

His great mate, Jason Raiwhara, was also homeless and was adjusting to life in a new house.

Last month Mr Raiwhara suddenly died from cancer, enabling Mr Marriner to take over the rental.

"I can walk around in my house where he used to sleep in his room and where we used to sit on the couch, and both of us fighting over the blinking bathroom," Mr Marriner says.

While he no longer has to shower at the local swimming pool or change his clothes at a clothing bin, Mr Marriner says renting has its downsides.

"It's the first time in 30 years that I'm not going to be debt free. I've got to pay bills now - when I was living on the streets all my money was my own money," he says.

Adam Slade, who works for the Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust, helped Mr Marriner take over the lease.

Mr Marriner says he now has comfort for the first time in three decades.