A charitable trust is giving Aucklanders a chance to buy their first home. Rowena Orejana finds out how the scheme has helped one Papatoetoe family.

Raymond Egay, his pregnant wife, Maria, and their daughter, Monina, are eagerly waiting to move into their new home in Mangere.

It's a dream come true for the Papatoetoe family. The couple has long thought of buying one but didn't realise it would or could happen as soon as this. "Houses here are so expensive," says Mr Egay.

The prices of houses in Auckland have skyrocketed to the point that the region recently was classified as "severely unaffordable" in the Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.

Advertisement

The Egays have acquired their new home with help from the New Zealand Housing Foundation, a charitable trust that is entirely separate from the state housing agency.

"The people that we're working with are first-time home buyers who can't afford to buy on the open market," says operations manager Dominic Foote. A 20 per cent deposit on a $400,000 home is $80,000 - an amount beyond the reach of most first-time home buyers, he says.

The foundation offers two schemes: equity sharing, which converts rental payments to mortgage payments after five years, or shared-ownership, in which the applicant owns 60 to 85 per cent of the home, and the foundation owns the remaining portion.

Mrs Egay saw the foundation's advertisement and decided to give it a try.

"At first, we applied for the rent-to-own scheme. After they assessed our financial capability, they encouraged us to go for the shared ownership," she says. "When we learned of the new baby, we decided to go back to the first scheme."

Mr Foote says the New Zealand Housing Foundation is a benevolent type of investor. "We have a relationship with the buyers. We meet with them yearly," he says.

If things aren't going well for the buyers, the foundation either buys the property or allows it to be sold. The profit is shared proportionally.

The houses sold are fully finished. They are carpeted and positioned to let in maximum sun to reduce heating costs in the winter. They are also well insulated.

Prices range from $400,000 to $410,000.

"We are not selling below market value and we're not selling cheap houses. We're just not selling the full value of the house," says Mr Foote. "They don't have to buy the balance of our share at all. But if they do want to, they can."

Mr Egay says his family is happy with the home. It is close to their workplaces and to Monina's school. "It's much more than we hoped for."

Building on charity

The Housing Foundation has several developments going on. Nine four-bedroom houses are still available at the Robertson Rd, Mangere, project. It's building 11 houses on Colwill Rd, in Massey East which will be sold through the shared home-ownership scheme. The foundation is in the final stages of buying land on Denny Rd in Mt Roskill, where it will build seven houses with a mix of three, four and five bedrooms. Two four-bedroom houses are available in Wyndmondley Rd, South Otahuhu, while a new development of two-bedroom houses will rise  in Pyramid Place, Glen Eden. For  info, email:

or ph 0800 446 874.