A desperate mum who has applied for more than 100 rental properties in the last three months says securing a house for her six children is a priority - even if it means living apart from her partner.
Tauranga-based Tangiwhetu Williams, her six children aged 4 to 15, and her 25-year-old partner Michael Sabbeth have not had a permanent address for more than two years and are currently living in one of Te Tuinga Whanau Social Services Trust's emergency houses in Greerton.
They share the four-bedroom home among several families - her family has two bedrooms, another family of four has one and the fourth bedroom is kept available spare.
"We have to share everything. The pantry, cupboard, washing machine."
The trust has extended her stay, but it was not a permanent solution and she is still frantically applying for properties.
Williams and her family spent last winter living in cars and tents before being accepted into emergency accommodation.
Her last rental ended in Whakatane in 2015 when the landlord wanted the house back for himself. Since then she had struggled to find a home, particularly in such a competitive rental market, and has been mainly living with friends and family.
"I've never actually been kicked out of a house and all my bad credit has been through power bills, Land and Transport - stuff like that."
She knew her large family and poor credit ratings were against her, but said she was a good tenant.
Despite her partner Michael Sabbeth having a fulltime job in Tauranga installing insulation which brought in about $900 a week, she was now looking further afield and was travelling to Auckland on Tuesday to view five properties.
Taking a house - either privately or through Housing New Zealand - in another city would also mean living apart from Sabbeth until he secured a fulltime job near them.
"That's just another hurdle... I feel like I'm on my hands and knees."