Last week we revealed the plight of a family of seven trying to find a home in our current housing crisis. The Reddings have jobs and money and can afford a roof over their heads, they just can't find one for them and their pets. They have no power and no running water in their tent in Edgecumbe. Since their plight made headlines, readers have offered support, but the family is still yet to find a home.
For seven months the Reddings - a family of seven including disabled children - have been living in a tent.
Since telling their story to the Rotorua Daily Post last week, many offers of support have come forward, but the family is still yet to find a home to rent where they can keep their pets.
"People are offering donations, even a caravan or tent... It's very kind, but we just really need a house and some space," Gail Redding, 65, said.
She is living with her two daughters, Sharon, 44, and Margaret, 45.
Sharon has three children Ricky, 22, Dominic, 12, and Shyanne, 6 and Margaret has one daughter, Lettisha, 14.
Ideally, any home would come with land as they have two dogs and three cats.
They have other animals currently leased on farmland, including chickens, calves and horses.
Gail said they would be hard-working tenants, and comfortable with inspections any time.
"Our last property, we kept it very neat and clean, we probably left it tidier than we found it... We have had really long rentals in the past. They went for eight years and more than five years.
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"We need somewhere where we can stay for a long time and give the kids stability. The hardest part is they just can't adjust to this."
The Reddings have lived in a tent in Edgecumbe for months. Photo / File
Shyanne is severely disabled, suffering from a rare condition called Cri-du-chat (cat's cry) syndrome.
Dominic had a long list of disorders including attention deficit disorder and autism, and also lived with manic depression and anxiety.
Lettisha had Long QT syndrome, a heart condition which meant she could drop dead at any time and had learning difficulties.
The Reddings chose to home-school the children and did not want to split up.
On Monday, Ministry of Social Development regional commissioner Mike Bryant said the Reddings were offered emergency accommodation last year, if they made arrangements for their pets.
He said they turned it down to stay with their pets, but the offer still stood if they changed their mind.
"We're keen for them to accept our offer as it's at least a warm, safe housing solution for them in the short term."
He said ministry sympathised with the family's circumstances and was committed to working with them.
"This case is a complex one as it is a large multigenerational family with several income sources requiring a six-bedroom house in a specific area."
He said it was vital they provided the forms and documentation required to determine their support options, and maintained contact.
East Coast Labour list MP Kiri Allan said it was "a very upsetting situation".
"No family should ever have to live in circumstances like this."
She said her team had met with the family and liaised with Government agencies on their behalf "to ensure that the family has access to all that they are entitled to".
East Coast National MP Anne Tolley said it was always distressing to hear of circumstances like the Reddings'.
"There is no doubt rents have increased dramatically this past year and the private rental market is certainly shrinking... Winter is the worst time to be under canvas, I hope they find something before the really cold weather sets in."
One Rotorua Daily Post reader, Corina Welsh, said she could not contain her tears when she read about the family's situation.
"As the mother of a child with possible autism, I couldn't help but wonder how I could help.
"For many reasons so I can't offer them what they really need, which is a house... but I do have a tent," she said.
"I hope someone reaches out and gives these people they help they clearly deserve... to end this family's nightmare."