Hundreds of Northland children are homeless, according to a new report.
One expert says the situation is a crisis and leaves families unable to plan for their futures.
Nearly 1900 people were homeless in Northland in 2013, according to the Otago University report released this week, entitled Severe housing deprivation in Aotearoa / New Zealand 2001-2013.
The homeless population includes people living in "severely inadequate housing" such as shelters, crowded homes or houses without proper amenities.
The report revealed more than a quarter of Northland's homeless were under 15 and 44 per cent under 25. Twenty-five per cent were Maori, and 27 per cent Pacific people.
One Double Five Community House and Taitokerau Community Law co-ordinator Carol Peters said homelessness was a major problem in Northland.
"The impact on people's health - especially children's health - of living in an uncertain situation is immeasurable," Ms Peters said.
Housing deprivation had a long-term effect on children's abilities to have satisfying lives.
Parents found they couldn't plan for their children's futures when their own futures were uncertain. Going to sleep safe and knowing how you would feed your family in the coming week were basic things, said Ms Peters.
"While they're not being dealt with, you can't plan for your whanau's future."
The situation wasn't getting any better in Northland despite the Government offering emergency housing support, Ms Peters said.
"It's the whole housing situation. It's not just the emergency housing. It's the ability of people to afford decent, warm, suitable housing."
A lot of people were on the edge of being unhoused for a number of reasons, she said.
Things such as a child getting sick or a car breaking down could raise debt levels.
"Suddenly, the whole house of cards falls down and they're unhoused."
Ms Peters said the housing-deprived were trying to improve their lot.
"They're not malingerers, they're basically hit by bad luck and struggling."
One Double Five provided lawyers for the housing-deprived, connected them with budgeting information and tried to help them plan for a safer situation, said Ms Peters.
According to the report, 687 people were homeless in Whangarei in 2013. Of those, 183 were without habitable accommodation, living rough or in a mobile dwelling. A further 144 were in non-private accommodation such as a night shelter, Women's Refuge or marae, and 360 were living temporarily in crowded dwellings.
Nationally, homelessness grew by 15 per cent between the 2006 and 2013 censuses.