The Ministry of Social Development has started charging people in motels and other emergency accommodation by 25 per cent of their income.
The policy came into effect on Monday and is part of a broader plan to address homelessness.
ME Family Services CEO Peter Sykes says charging for emergency housing was "taking from the poor and giving to the rich".
Mr Sykes told Kerre McIvor the problem they are having in Mangere is there is not enough investment going into providing a stable housing plan.
"The lack of that long term strategy misses the point that people are not choosing to be homeless, people are not choosing to be in transition, but we don't have any long term strategies in place."