Social housing has gone through the biggest changes in 40 years under the National-led Government.
It put an end to the idea of a state house for life, reviewed tens of thousands of tenancies, and began reshuffling more than a third of its homes into the places they were needed most.
In perhaps the most significant change, it began transferring hundreds of state houses to non-government organisations. It extended rent subsidies to these organisations, so that tenants paid no more than 25 per cent of the market rent.
The idea behind the major shift in policy was to help build up the community housing sector so it could play a greater role in housing New Zealand's most needy tenants. It followed National's core beliefs - that the non-government sector can do as good, or a better job as the state, and that giving people discounted houses indefinitely without social support creates dependence without significantly improving lives.
In reality, the policy of growing non-government social housing is yet to take flight. National's goal was to lift community housing from 6 per cent of all social housing to 20 per cent within five years. Three and a half years on, the sector still only makes up less than 10 per cent of all social housing.
If Labour gets into power in September, it is promising to reverse many of the changes.
Under National, the number of state houses has fallen from 67,000 to around 63,000 - or 65,000 if the number of state-funded social houses are counted. The official waiting list for a state house is up from 2700 in 2007 to 5300. The Government has committed more funding to subsidise rent on social houses, but there are not enough available houses for the funding to be used up.
The reduction in state housing has coincided with a rise in homeless numbers, though the Government disputes any direct correlation. Measuring homeless numbers is difficult, but the most accepted estimate is that there are around 41,000 people in insecure housing, 4000 of them rough sleepers. That total has risen at a faster rate than population growth since 2006.
Several events in 2015 and 2016 underlined the shortage of social housing and placed pressure on the Government to intervene. Coverage of people living in cars and garages in South Auckland became a damaging image for the Government. Te Puea Marae's decision to house rough sleepers during winter also encouraged ministers to do more.
In late 2015, National became the first Government to begin funding emergency housing - a sector which was previously left to charities. It has now spent more than $20 million on buying motels for temporary accommodation.
A Salvation Army report released last month said a minimum of 20,000 state or social houses were needed in the next 10 years to deal with growing numbers of homeless in New Zealand.
Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has said on the campaign trail that the Government will build 2000 houses a year over the next three years, as per the Salvation Army demand. But that is a target set by the Ministry of Social Development rather than a concrete National Party pledge. Its firmest commitment has been to build a net 5300 state houses in Auckland in the next 10 years.
In this respect, National's policy on social housing is similar to Labour. Labour wants to increase housing stock by at least 1000 a year until demand is met.
National is increasingly using the Housing First model, in which rough sleepers are put into a home before any social issues are dealt with. Labour wants the model to be the government's primary approach to homelessness - a stance backed by the Greens and the Maori Party.
The two major parties have also committed to providing more temporary beds for rough sleepers if in power, with Labour promising slightly more.
That's where the similarities end. Labour is fundamentally opposed to the sale of state houses, as are the Greens, NZ First, and the Maori Party.
The Opportunities Party agrees that the state houses should be transferred, but it has a much more radical approach. It wants the Government to give all 62,500 houses to the community sector for free.
Labour would change Housing NZ's model back to a public agency rather than a corporation, which would end any requirement to provide a cut of its profits to the government, and would put it back in charge of assessing who should be housed.
"IT'S STILL PRETTY HARD FOR US"
Carissima Davies hit a low point about two years ago.
The 51-year-old sickness beneficiary was living in a van and sharing a single mattress in the boot with her grandson, who was 2 at the time.
She took over caring for him when he was 6-months-old because her daughter was in a difficult relationship, Child Youth and Family were involved, and she wanted the boy to stay in the family.
But her and the child's benefit did not cover the $498 in rent she was paying for her Kelston home.
She applied to the Ministry of Social Development for a state house, and was initially asked to see if she could find a cheaper rental property. That was a difficult task, as she didn't have a car.
"I was looking around for another home but we just couldn't afford it in Auckland. What they wanted me to pay for my rent, I wasn't even getting that much on a benefit. I was in debt every week.
"I had to go without a lot of stuff. I wasn't able to get clothes for [my grandson]. I went without food for a long time. But you have to make sacrifices."
In the end, she ended up as a rough sleeper, living in the van for several weeks.
Her homeless status and her grandson elevated her up the MSD waiting list, and a house was found for her in a new development in Weymouth. In some respects, she is one of the lucky ones. The wait time was about two weeks - much shorter than the average waiting time of around 100 days.
The home is owned by a community housing organisation, and HNZ pays for 75 per cent of her rent.
Davies' life is immeasurably better with a roof over her head, she says: "I'm way more comfortable now." But income-related rent subsidies are not a complete solution for people like her.
She is still financially unstable. Her welfare has been reduced to $34 a week because of her housing support, though she gets a top-up for her grandson.
"I still have to pay power, water, doctor's bills. It's still pretty hard for us."
Social housing policies
• Build 5300 state houses in the next 10 years.
• Continue transferring state houses to community housing organisations.
• Fund 3000 extra emergency housing places (800 beds at any one time).
• Build at least 1000 state houses a year until demand is met.
• Immediately stop the sale of state houses.
• Change Housing NZ's status from a corporation to a public agency, removing the need for it to provide a dividend and putting it in charge of assessing housing need.
• Fund 5100 extra emergency housing places a year (2200 beds available at any one time)
• Develop a national strategy for ending homelessness, with a focus on getting people into houses first before dealing with any social needs.
• Urgently build 450 state houses, partly funded by allowing Housing NZ to keep its dividend.
• Stop the sale of state houses.
• Build another 5000 houses and sell them to the community sector through progressive ownership.
• Expand the community housing sector by issuing Govt-backed investment bonds.
• Implement the recommendations of a cross-party inquiry on homelessness.
• Stop the sale of state houses to the non-government sector.
• Provide low-cost loans to councils to build pensioner housing.
• Freeze rent increases in all social housing and review every five years.
• Set a cap on how high rent can be increased in social housing.
• Build 90,000 houses in five years, some of them social housing.
• Require Govt to set a target to end homelessness by 2020.
• Give the entire state housing stock to community housing organisations.
• Fund community housing organisations to subsidise tenants' rent.