Tony and Sharon Makai are fielding five to 10 calls daily from young families seeking accommodation at the Silver Birch Holiday Park.
The couple took over the lease 12 months ago after managing another campground in Auckland and Mr Makai said he was "shocked" at the sheer numbers of inquiries. "It started from day one, with people ringing."
He did not like turning people away adding, "I hate telling them no and I'm glad they don't bring their kids, or I'll say yes."
That all went downhill when I turned 18 because I thought I can get all these things on hire purchase, it was stupid.
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The day the Bay of Plenty Times visited, four families and a combination of seven couples and singles were living at the campground.
Some accommodation was taken up by kiwifruit workers which would be "filled up with families once the season finishes".
Conditions were not ideal but beat "living in your car with your kids".
The Makais did not envision the campground they run being a refuge - each cabin could fetch far more on a nightly basis. But Mr Makai said it was a call they were prepared to make for the families.
Amanda Brown was paying $350 at the holiday park for a small two-bedroom unit that had a tiny kitchen and bathroom with partner Michael and her son, Jackson, aged three.
The family arrived three months ago after sleeping in their car and leaving Palmerston North for a better life in the Bay. Both had secured work but Ms Brown's 2-year-old daughter, Hailey, lives with her father in Rotorua, "that is the price I've paid for living in a camping ground and being homeless".
View a video of Ms Brown's cabin below, or mobile and app users click here.
"I hate it with a passion. You get some drama staying here and people look down their noses at you but I want to stay in Tauranga. I lived here four years ago and loved it."
She has tried to make her surroundings warm and inviting with various knick knacks and family photos. A broken down oil filled heater sits beside an old cane bookshelf where "dream" and "home" signs take pride of place. But the unit is cold.
A bad rental history, accumulated as a teenager flatting with others, was her downfall, she said.
"I was young and stupid and now I just want a chance. I've changed but landlords aren't interested. We've looked at homes alongside 20 other families but we haven't got a show. I don't want to stay in a camping ground for the rest of my life."
Tarihira Morgan said she was also paying the price for getting into arrears which ended with an eviction two months ago.
"I chose food over paying the rent to feed my kids because I was struggling ..."
The mother of three sits on a double bed in a cramped cabin with two bunks, a sink, fridge and hot plate.
I was young and stupid and now I just want a chance. I've changed but landlords aren't interested ... I don't want to stay in a camping ground for the rest of my life.
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During the week she takes her nine-year-old to school on the bus and tries to keep her trio from annoying the neighbours too much - hence the hot plate.
"I try to cook in here because I don't want them touching other people's food in the kitchen."
There are no creature comforts of home, artworks on the walls or room to walk to about. Ms Morgan's tale involves a bad credit history that started when she was younger.
"That all went downhill when I turned 18 because I thought I can get all these things on hire purchase, it was stupid.
"Now I am more conscious of what I am doing with my money because I have rental agents coming back to me and saying I am not getting houses because of my credit rating which is proof of me not paying things. I should not have done that and I am doing something to get rid of it."
The beneficiary said it was hard to describe the impact of her current position and it had been a tough lesson she was determined to recover from. In the future Ms Morgan hoped to return to study as a hairdresser and was looking for a part-time job.
The owners of the holiday park had reduced her rent from $350 to $300 per week to help her out and she would be upgraded to a unit with ensuite facilities when one became available.
After paying that Ms Morgan was left with $140 from her benefit to live on and support her kids.
View video of what Mr Makai has to say about the housing problem below, or mobile and app users click here.