A man living in his car in Napier because of a Hawke's Bay housing crisis is getting freedom camping tickets as he sleeps.
Jays Boyd has been spending the night in his car for the past six months and has been forced to park in places where he might be fined because he feels they're the only safe place to sleep.
On Tuesday night he parked in the Ocean Spa carpark. When he woke up he found he had a $200 fine, his ninth in four months.
"I know now it wasn't the best idea but I really had no other choice," Boyd said.
"Napier is terrible ... there is only one place to park where you won't get fined and it only has about eight car parks which fill up straight away."
Boyd says he will continue to live in his car because it is cheaper than boarding or renting a place.
"Boarding people want $200, plus having to buy your own food and stuff and renting is just completely out of the picture for me."
Boyd, 25, is on the Housing New Zealand waiting list but he is a single male which means he is further down the list as a low priority.
"[It's] fair enough because there are a lot of people who are worse off then me."
He was offered temporary accommodation in a motel recently, only for it to be passed on to someone else higher up on the waiting list.
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"I'm not annoyed because I understand that there are people in a worse place than I am and some of them have children to care for as well," Boyd said.
"If I did get a room I don't know how long I would be in it because then my benefit would cut by $80 and I would struggle to live on what is left."
That $80 will take a big cut out of the $280 he roughly gets now a week.
Boyd said Napier wasn't tolerant of homeless people at all, mainly because of past experiences.
"Some people have ruined it for a lot of other people, leaving rubbish and going to the bathroom just out on the grass, but I don't do that and a lot of other people don't either.
"All most of us want is just a safe place where we can live in our cars without being harassed or fined so that one day we can work to be able to move into somewhere properly and get jobs to help support us."
The breadth of Hawke's Bay's homeless problem
Being homeless can mean different things and it doesn't always mean you are living on the street.
Ngati Kahungunu Trust chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana reckons thousands of people would fit under the bracket of being homeless in Hawke's Bay.
"With 881 people living in motels and hotels, some having been in them for two years, 661 on the Housing New Zealand waiting list and still 400-500 people living in cars."
At the end of December 2018 there were 661 applicants on the housing register in Hawke's Bay region.
Of those, 41 per cent listed the primary reason for applying for support as homelessness.
The housing register has been increasing for a while and shot up to 39 in the three months to December. New statistics are expected in a matter of days.
Currently 158 motel rooms spread across 12 motels in Hawke's Bay are being used for transitional housing.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development chief executive Andrew Crisp recently told Hawke's Bay Today the country's rapidly growing economy was the source of most issues.
"Since 1994 incomes have increased by 100 per cent, rent has increased by 200 per cent and the price for a house has increased by 350 per cent.
"It's an issue we have seen grow and need to act on."