Government agencies are warning we'll see more rough sleeping and overcrowding, emergency and public housing demand - due to Covid-19.

A big Covid-19 document release shows more than 1000 households had been tenanted in motels as a response to the lockdown.

More than 60 percent of them identified as Māori.

Demand for Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants surged by 42 percent in the 10 weeks from the start of alert level four.


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Motel places have been secured until next April, and officials will bring forward work to prevent homelessness - including helping at-risk groups like young and disabled people, continuing to embed kaupapa Māori approaches throughout all responses, and building capacity and capability of service providers.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) - which manages Crown tenancies - urgently acquired rooms to accommodate the influx of regular rough sleepers across New Zealand prior to the Covid-19 lockdown.

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Finding accommodation for the thousand-plus rough sleepers on Auckland's streets in a matter of days was an immense task to which the Government devoted $107.6 million.

"Finding safe accommodation for our most vulnerable people through the Covid-19 pandemic has been a key priority for the Government," HUD manager of engagement Dennis de Reus said last week.

"This has meant agencies have needed to think innovatively and find different solutions for immediate housing."

In Auckland, HUD had entered into arrangements with 26 motels to supply 464 residences. For privacy reasons HUD will not specify which motels are being used.