A Hastings mother has rejected an "unsafe" property offered to her by Housing New Zealand, after Hawke's Bay Today drew attention to her 15-week wait for housing.
Louise Hutchinson currently lives in a motel unit with her two teenage children. She has been on the "A" priority waiting list for a state house for 15 weeks.
After Hawke's Bay Today ran a story about Ms Hutchinson's situation in Saturday's edition, she received a text from Housing NZ.
"All of a sudden, I received a text on Tuesday - I believe they responded because of the newspaper article."
Housing NZ told Ms Hutchinson she could view a vacant house on Manuka St, Mahora, and "move in tomorrow".
However, after inspecting the property she decided it was unsuitable for her family.
The house was surrounded by boarded-up Housing NZ properties, covered in graffiti and contributing to the area's "extremely derelict" appearance.
"I felt totally sick about it, to be honest," she said.
"It felt like a slap in the face.
"If I was classified as emergency housing due to domestic circumstances, why would they put me back in an environment that would quite possibly make me and my son feel unsafe?
"Initially I felt pressured to take it, and say yes, and just shut up.
"But there's no way I'm living in this area. It's not safe for my child."
Ms Hutchinson is still waiting for Housing NZ to offer her a two-bedroom house which she deems safe for her family.
She said she didn't believe Housing NZ was meeting demand in Hawke's Bay, as a spokeswoman for the corporation said this week.
"If they say they're meeting demand, why am I still waiting?"
In response to Ms Hutchinson's comments, a Housing NZ spokeswoman said: "We don't offer a house unless it's a really good standard - warm, dry and insulated. We appreciate people won't always like the first option and generally we offer a selection of up to three properties."
The empty houses near the property offered to Ms Hutchinson were vacant and there were "security issues" with them, the spokeswoman confirmed, but Housing NZ was "constantly conducting surveillance and working with agencies such as the police" to ensure the area was safe.
Meanwhile, Labour Party housing spokesman Phil Twyford has waded into the region's housing debate, backing up Tukituki Labour candidate Anna Lorck on figures released to Labour under the Official Information Act.
"We asked them about their demand projections, they released these figures, they're embarrassed about them, now they're covering their arses."
The figures allegedly show Housing NZ plans to reduce its stock in regions throughout the country.
Housing NZ rejects the claims, saying the information obtained by Labour was "from a piece of research commissioned and carried out a number of years ago, and were based on potential population predictions at the time - it was one of a number of tools we have used in the past, but wasn't our plan".
But Mr Twyford said the corporation was reducing regional stock in order to focus its resources on meeting demand in Auckland.
"They're shifting houses out of regional New Zealand and into Auckland."