Have you ever feared becoming homeless?
I had the tiniest taste of it when my landlord decided to move a family member into my house a few years back.
That meant she could give me the 42-day eviction notice, instead of the 90-day boot. Because it was family. A bizarre rule, in my view.
I could understand where my landlord was coming from, in a practical sense. We were looking to buy a home, we couldn't make a long-term commitment.
It was an arrangement that suited both parties to start with, but I guess our house hunt was taking too long.
We had just signed contracts to build a house.
The challenge was finding somewhere that would accept us (and our cat) for a short term, at a price low enough that we could also pay the new mortgage. All that in a market where landlords could afford to be picky.
For a few weeks there, I was worried. But it all worked out in the end; we found a place to spend our last months as tenants.
Just because I could find a rental, and you could find a rental, does not mean there are enough houses - or the right houses - for all.
House hunters feel the impact of this shortage, sure, but it really bites for tenants - especially those with unstable lives - stuck in an overpriced, oversaturated market.
NZME reported this week that some in Tauranga are working multiple jobs and going without groceries to pay the rent. In Rotorua, landlords are putting their investment first - not unreasonable - and refusing to rent to tenants with a bad history . But where do those people go?
In Kiwi society, the punishment for having a bad history or a low-paid job cannot be a life with no security in the roof over your head.
Housing is a human right and the market can't answer that yet. More reform is needed at a national level to give good tenants security.
And the Bay needs more public housing - in old neighbourhoods and new - and it can't come quick enough.