Over 1700 families displaced by Auckland's floods face struggle to find new homes

The number of homes deemed unliveable after the Auckland floods is on the rise.

In the latest Civil Defence update, we heard there are now over 1700 families that have been displaced - and getting rental properties for them, when there's already a housing shortage, is proving difficult.

There are now 261 houses red-stickered, meaning the properties are deemed too unsafe for people to return. Another 1478 are yellow-stickered, so access is limited.

This means there are over 1700 families that have been displaced right across Auckland. And getting rental properties for them, when there's already a housing shortage, is proving difficult.

At the top of a cliff on Auckland's North Shore are some of the city's most prestigious houses. Once highly sought after, they're now teetering dangerously close to the edge - and some are uninhabitable.

Mother and daughter Nisha and Alisha Din have been tenants in their harbour-view home for less than six months. But they have been told they have just seven days to get out, with the property deemed too unsafe.

"I'm traumatised. I wake up in the middle of the night. I can't sleep. We literally have no place to live after two days," Nisha said.

And they're not alone. Social media pages have been inundated with people searching for accommodation, adding even more pressure to the city's housing shortage.

"Every open home we've been to there are about 100 people turning up there so what are our chances? We don't know," Nisha added.

Councillors and engineers were out and about reassessing the damage on Sunday. They say the fallout from the floods could be felt for years.

There have already been over 20,000 flood-related insurance claims lodged, with insurer IAG saying it expects its payouts to exceed $380 million.

"We've never seen anything like this so it will take time and people just need to be talking to each other, reaching out because it is going to be upsetting and frustrating for people," said North Shore Councillor Richard Hills.

Ross Roberts is Auckland Council's head of resilience engineering and leads a team of coastal, geotechnical and natural hazards experts. He said with the recovery phase beginning, people in coastal areas need to start weighing up their options.

"One extreme is the removal of properties where there's no cost-effective way of completely reinstating them," he said.

"At the other end of the spectrum, you can do some important planting on cliffs and it will help improve stability."

But if your property's in a vulnerable position, the Insurance Council boss is urging people to act sooner rather than later to prevent further erosion.

"The Earthquake Commission insures land damage within 8m of a residential property but that land has to eat away to the point it's that close to your house," Tim Grafton said.

And he said longer term, Aucklanders need to reconsider which suburbs are suitable.

"If your house is going to fall down the bottom of a cliff, then you may find it difficult to get insurance so what you have to do is think about where you build and how you build so you don't fall down the cliff."

And while that's not reassuring news for families already forced out of their homes, it could help provide more certainty for people in the future.