Pania Hooper has been homeless for seven months since being evicted from her rental accommodation.
The Waipukurau woman was living in her car until seven weeks ago when Work and Income organised emergency housing at a local motel.
Hooper has been trying to find a local rental property for months.
She said she was evicted because she offered a bed to a fellow EIT student and his girlfriend when they had nowhere to stay. She said her landlords thought she had taken in paying boarders, which was not the case.
With no options but to live in her car, she also had to make the hard decision to find somewhere for her 15-year-old daughter.
"I was paying rent, I kept the house tidy, I didn't have loud parties - I couldn't understand why they kicked me out."
Meanwhile, in an effort to upskill, the 55-year-old had taken courses at EIT including computer, carpentry and horticulture, and was currently working part-time for the Strive Centre's brain injured clients, taking them to the pools, gym and on gardening visits.
For the past year she had volunteered each week at the Pakeke Centre, a daycare centre for the elderly in Waipukurau.
When Work and Income organised the motel for her, it was conditional on her continuing to look for a suitable house in the area.
"I've been going to the real estate agents every day and looking on Trade Me but there's just no houses between here and Gisborne.
"Now they want me to go to a communal house in Hastings which is overpopulated already with us homeless."
She was grateful to have a roof over her head at the motel, but the instability of the situation was stressful, and she felt the $980 a week Work and Income was paying for the accommodation could be better used.
"I could be using that to save for a deposit on a house or get a better car.
"I feel like they are trying to sweep me under the carpet - I just want a house. I've worked hard to make life better for me and my daughter, I have earned my place in life."
She did not want to take her daughter away from her school to a communal home in Hastings with people they did not know.
"I didn't bring my girl up to be in this situation - she's doing so well at school and people have offered to take her in so she can continue there but I want to be a mother, I don't want that taken away from me."
She decided to share her story with the media as a last resort.
"It's so tiring going to the same people every day to be told there are still no houses - it's hard to keep a happy face not knowing what is happening from week to week."
Ministry of Social Development East Coast regional commissioner Annie Aranui said it appreciated Hooper had been doing everything possible to find a home at a time when houses were in short supply.
"We're also doing everything in our power to help Pania explore all accommodation options while supporting her with emergency housing. This has included making her an appointment to meet with a local real estate agent."
She understood the transitional housing options talked through with Hooper did not match her needs and until she found a suitable home, she would continue to be supported with motel accommodation.
Unfortunately demand for housing was exceeding supply in Hawke's Bay, as it was across the country, Aranui added.
As at December 31 last year there were 398 people on the social housing register in Hawke's Bay, which included Central Hawke's Bay, Hastings District and Napier.
Updated figures were due for release shortly.
CHB District Council Mayor Alex Walker said the council had agreed during Long Term Plan deliberations to prepare a business case to improve the supply of social housing in the district.
"Central Government will be an important partner to that - we have been having conversations with the Ministry of Social Development in their role as housing providers about how to make that happen.
"If we do not do it no other agency will step up and lead it for our community."