There has been a lot of talk lately in the media, between friends, and at work about housing - cold houses, overcrowded houses, the insane cost of houses, the shortage of houses, the terrible state of some houses, the sale of state houses to foreign buyers, and the homeless.

In covering these stories I'm equally amazed at the amount of people who are struggling with housing issues as I am with the amount of ignorant people who don't see the issue and are quick to stereotype.

I can tell you now, as a 33-year-old mother of three who has been a beneficiary and has spent the past three years re-training into an industry that is slowly dying, my dream of owning my own home has been long pushed to the bottom of my priority list, coming in well under clothing and feeding my children on my modest wage.

No longer on the benefit, now the editor of a newspaper, people are quick to assume that I must be financially comfortable - living the dream. I do work hard, sometimes seven days a week. I don't smoke, hardly drink, stick to a budget, and yet I live from pay cheque to pay cheque.


There have been times when my kids and I have all slept in my bed to keep warm as the cost of power has made heating somewhat of a luxury after I fork out almost three quarters of my net wages on rent alone.

Statistics showed that in December 2012, 1077 applicants were listed as high priority on the waiting list for a state house, while 3558 state houses sat empty. With National's plan to sell off our state houses to Australian buyers, the likelihood is New Zealand's desperate housing crisis is only going to get worse.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a sob story. This is simply the view of a hard-working mother who grew up in a family-owned, warm house on a quarter acre section with fruit trees and vegetable gardens, who is now struggling to provide the same stability for my own family. It's not just the unemployed who are struggling with the cost of housing, this is an issue that could end up affecting generations to come.

I know I want better for my kids.

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