Whanganui agencies dealing in emergency and transient housing have met to share information and ideas on the back of an increase in the number of homeless families in the city.

Mayor Hamish McDouall said while there were national schemes in place, such as KiwiBuild and new state houses, on the way, there might be a two-year lag in terms of addressing the problem.

Representatives from the Salvation Army, Te Ora Hou, Ministry of Social Development, Housing New Zealand and McDouall met over morning tea on Friday to discuss the state of housing in Whanganui.

McDouall suggested the different Whanganui agencies to get together to come up with an action plan in the meantime.

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The Salvation Army's transitional housing social worker Scott Taylor Moore said secure housing was basic requirement for people.

Earlier this month he told the Chronicle the number of homeless families in Whanganui has increased "significantly" in the past year.

The Salvation Army operates seven emergency housing properties and work with other social agencies to fill them.

Salvation Army student social worker Tegan Edwards has been looking after seven emergency houses in Whanganui. Photo/ Zaryd Wilson
Salvation Army student social worker Tegan Edwards has been looking after seven emergency houses in Whanganui. Photo/ Zaryd Wilson

Ministry of Social Development's June figures show 87 households are looking for accommodation in Whanganui with 73 of those at risk and in severe and persistent need.

The others are in serious housing need.