Up to 20 Northland families will have their homes repaired by Habitat for Humanity this year under a renewed home repair scheme, thanks to the profits from the expanded Restore in Whangarei.

The Restore outlet now boasts an added 250sqm after the centre took over an adjoining unit at Kioreroa Rd.

Habitat for Humanity Northland executive officer Conrad LaPointe said the organisation's Brush with Kindness repair scheme was being replaced by the Critical Home Repair programme, and was due to provide maintenance work on up to 20 homes this year. Habitat for Humanity builds up to two homes a year for Northlanders who could not otherwise afford a home. It spends around $200,000 on each home.

"While we were visiting a number of families throughout Northland, we became acutely aware of the need for better housing and realised that we were not able to affect as many families as we wanted to," Mr LaPointe said.


The repair programme allows eligible, low-income elderly and disabled individuals to apply for work. "People can repay Habitat at a cost that suits them, at zero per cent interest. It could cost as little as $30 a week," he said. Habitat gets zero Government funding and relies on fundraising and income from the Restore operations.

"While the majority of money raised in the store goes towards housing needs in Northland, some of it goes towards the Habitat for Humanity work in disaster-hit areas like Nepal and Vanuatu, as well as the 300 houses being built in Samoa."

He said the store's point of difference was the selection of second-hand building materials, from nails to bricks. "We are also taking donations of items for the store and of course, continue to be grateful for the support we get from 25 volunteers and our customers."

Applications for repairs were now being accepted by the organisation and Mr LaPointe said he hoped it would be working on the first of the house repairs within the month.

Applicants can email northland@habitat.org.nz or call 09-4382250.

- Laura Welsby, communications and event manager for Habitat said volunteers were also being celebrated and recruited next week for Volunteer Week. The Habitat team would be meeting members of the public with the Volunteering Whangarei crew at Cameron St on Wednesday, June 27.