Emergency housing providers are warning more homeless families will be sleeping in cars, parks and garages in Auckland this winter because of a desperate shortage of cheap accommodation.
They say the crisis is worse this year because emergency motel units are already full and at least one marae will not be reopening its doors.
The Ministry of Social Development's deputy chief executive of housing, Scott Gallacher, says they are doing what they can and plan to buy a few motels to help provide shelter for homeless people.
But he concedes motels are not ideal and says the ministry can't guarantee that people won't be sleeping in cars, tents and garages this winter.
"What I can let people know is that the Ministry of Social Development is absolutely committed to everyone in our community to make sure we leave no stone unturned to provide people with safe, secure accommodation whether it's temporary or long term."
The Salvation Army says moves by the government to buy more motels for homeless people is a sign of the pressure on emergency accommodation around the country.
Salvation Army's policy analyst Alan Johnson says motels are the only way to get accommodation quickly.