Amo Taite will be getting the birthday present of her life when she turns 47 this year.
Her dream of owning her first home is coming true as she is one of the buyers of the 17 first-home buyer sections at new Tarbet St development in Flaxmere.
The development is part of Hastings District Council's plan to try to tackle the housing crisis the district is facing, with 706 people on the housing register waiting list in Hastings as of December 2020.
Taite never thought it was possible after she was in a 25-year abusive marriage, a stay-at-home mum to five kids and $40,000 in debt.
"I lost my voice and I lost the person that I was."
But she got her strength back, the marriage ended and she moved in with her mother five years ago.
Her mother and a budgeting course helped her to pay off the debt in three years and start saving.
During this time, she also survived a car crash, and says everything happens for a reason, but people need to take control of their lives.
A friend she met through the course told her about the Waingākau development, but this ended up being above her $500,000 budget.
The friend then told her about Tarbet St, and she got in touch with the council and after help from her mortgage broker and lawyer, is now on the journey to building her first home.
"I've always dreamt of owning my own home."
She says when she found out the section was hers, she was "excited on the inside" and will be more excited when the house is completed.
It has also meant she has learnt a lot about the process for buying and building a home which has been "good, positive learning".
She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas.
On Tuesday an event marking the end of the land development and the beginning of house construction and section sales was held.
Napier MP and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash also cut the ribbon marking the next stage of the development – 18 transitional housing units providing temporary accommodation.
Three of the 17 sections have been sold, four sections have agreements pending, there have been expressions of interest for nine sections, with a deadline of April 23 to confirm, and one is still for sale.
Houses must have at least three bedrooms, an attached garage, paved paths and driveways and buyers must live in the homes for at least five years.
Each section is being sold between $130,000 and $140,000.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the development of the site illustrated the council's commitment to address the need for more housing.
In her speech at the event, she said motels were "a place we don't want our next generation living" and that the council can't stop until no one is living in them.
"This is the first subdivision of the Hastings Place Based Pilot to go on the market. It showcases that we can achieve more effective results by working in partnership to address the housing crisis."
She also acknowledged the Provincial Development Unit which provided funding for the infrastructure phase.