This week Rotorua MP Todd McClay took another stand against the use of hotels for emergency housing.
He demanded the council put a sinking lid policy on the number of people living in emergency accommodation in the city's motels.
It followed news that emergency housing stays in motels longer than 28 days breached the Rotorua Lakes Council's district plan.
In today's edition, Carmen Hall speaks to people struggling to find homes or to make ends meet as rent prices rise.
In Tauranga, median rents have jumped $8140 from March 2016 to March 2021, or from $440 a week to $595, according to Trade Me.
In Rotorua during the same timeframe, it has spiralled by $9880 or from $300 to $490 a week.
Today we also reveal a motel lease on prime land overlooking millions of dollars of Rotorua lakefront investment had been bought by a Hamilton couple to turn into more emergency housing.
I believe affordable housing for everyone is the biggest issue New Zealand is facing and will be for the next decade.
It seems to have been one of those issues which have snuck up on us slowly but surely until we are on the back foot trying to fix it.
This isn't a new issue. The current Government is not the only one to blame as housing was not adequately addressed during National's time in power. Labour is just left dealing with the crisis.
And it is an issue that is having visible effects on people, many of whom have shared their stories with NZME.
There is the couple living hand to mouth as they pay high rents in order to secure a home, the person who offered thousands of dollars upfront to secure a rental, and those with time running out to secure rental properties.
It is heartbreaking to hear about toddlers playing in the driveways of motels or struggling to learn due to lack of continuity in their lives because of their housing situations.
It is confronting to see homeless people back on Auckland streets after the Government worked hard to house them during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
These are real people and this is a real issue.
I acknowledge the Government isn't just sitting on its hands over this. It has schemes such as the first-home grant which was recently reviewed; it has progressive home ownership schemes and earlier this year it announced a $3.8 billion scheme to accelerate the pace of new house builds, which is expected to help see "tens of thousands" of new properties built.
But we need to see results and fast before our motels become even more over-run with people struggling to find a home and before homeownership dreams are dashed for the everyday middle-class citizen.
We can't continue the way we are.