A new project is being developed in Napier to help long-term tenants into their own homes.

The Money Mates programme will run on four consecutive Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm, starting on June 25 at the EIT's outreach campus in the Maraenui Shopping Centre.

It aims to get families into buying homes in a development about to start in nearby Geddis Ave, the former site of eight two-storey units removed in a Housing New Zealand's purge on state housing, which started in early 2015 and ended with almost 100 homes stripped from the area.

Housing New Zealand announced in May that 10 three-bedroomed homes will be built for private sale, which the state housing agency and the Napier City Council say will go to new homeowners rather than property investors and speculators.


The Money Mates programme, covering Kiwisaver, Home Start Grants, clearing debt, loans, repayments and other associated issues, has been established by BudgetFirst and Mortgage Partners, in partnership with Angel Promotions, the company of Napier couple Patrick and Theresa O'Brien contracted to the council.

Council manager community strategies Natasha Mackie says it aligns with Te Pihinga (formerly known as Activate Maraenui) and the ouncil's support for the Maraenui community, and although it also has longer-term aspirations to match those of people in the community she says it also aligns with the recent announcement of the Kiwibuild development on Geddis Ave.

"Council has been working with people in this community for a number of years, and supporting whānau in this way ties in neatly with the goals we and other stakeholders in Te Pihinga have, to grow the economic and social prosperity within Maraenui," she said.

Theresa O'Brien said that even if people feel now is not the right time to think about buying a house, they are encouraged to take part in the programme, because other housing opportunities will come to Maraenui.

A property owner since her early 20s, O'Brien said a lot of people in the Maraenui area aspire to owning homes, but "do not know how to go about it" and in many cases do not know what they can achieve.

"We will be trying to make sure that everyone in Maraenui has an equal opportunity to buy a home," she said. "We want to make sure people are in a better position to put their hands up. These homew will put them onto the property market market ladder."

Service provider Whatever It Taks (WIT) is iunvolved in another redevlopment in nearby Longfellow Ave, off Geddis Ave, butthe community is still waiting for announcements relating to large now long-empty former state housing spaces off Bledisloe Rd, Masefield Ave and Percy Spiller Ave.

Registration is essential to attend the programme. For more information or to register for Money Mates, contact Theresa on (027) 697 9549 or email theresa@angelpromotions.co.nz