Rotorua's MPs agree on at least one thing - housing is one of the area's biggest issues.

The Rotorua Daily Post reported yesterday on an Auckland family who had moved to Rotorua to make a new life but had been unable to find a home to rent. As a result, they were not able to enrol their 8-year-old son in school.

It came as Housing Minister Phil Twyford released a new report which found homelessness in New Zealand was worse than thought and there was a growing "floating" population of people with no fixed address.

Read more: Rotorua's 'hidden homeless' population causes concern
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Rotorua MP Todd McClay told the Rotorua Daily Post population growth in Rotorua had put pressure on both the housing and rental market.

The solution to the issue was "probably multi-faceted", but he believed increasing Rotorua's housing stock would have a big impact.

The previous Government had announced 117 new social houses for Rotorua, including 37 "transitional" houses, last year, he said.

He hoped they would still go ahead under the new Government.

National also increased the accommodation supplement, particularly for those with children, he said.

The council also signed a housing accord where it committed to 900 additional new houses and 1050 section consents over the next four years.

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ROTORUA DAILY POST
14 Feb, 2018 7:00am
5 minutes to read

McClay said there had been a lot of discussion from candidates about homelessness in Rotorua during the 2017 election, and he had been "surprised" that he had not heard much about it since the Government was formed.​

Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey said housing remained the biggest issue facing the Waiariki and the report perfectly captured this.

"I congratulate the new Minister of Housing for doing a stocktake on the state of Kiwi homes - and giving us as a nation a sobering reminder of how we are failing in this area, and greater direction on where to from here.

"Locally, the homelessness action plan has stalled, pensioner houses are about to be sold off and while new subdivisions loom, they are far from affordable for first-home buyers and their whanau.

"We have already put a stop to the sale of state houses and to foreign investors toying with our property prices.

"Now we are working through the details of our new housing strategy and I am personally helping to solve the cyclical problem of allowing Maori to build on Maori land with multiple owners and access to finance for Maori."

Rotorua-based New Zealand First list MP Fletcher Tabuteau said while the findings of the report were harrowing they were not surprising.

"The conversations I had with many different people leading up to the 2017 election about what they thought were the biggest issues for Rotorua, housing and poverty were cited as the biggest issues.

"It is an indictment that we have "working poor" and people who cannot afford a mortgage or rent, and as a result, there is a growing homelessness problem.

"New Zealand First has said we need more homes, but ambitious home-building plans alone will not solve the problem until we deal with sustainable immigration numbers. Once we get this right, homeownership, renting, and access to healthcare and education will improve."