From today three Hamilton families realise a dream – to sleep in a house they will one day own.
These families, along with 30 others, are kickstarting their journey towards home ownership thanks to Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand, which has partnered with the Government under the Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) programme to build 33 homes across New Zealand in the next 18 months.
"Our vision is simple; we believe everyone deserves a decent place to live," says Habitat for Humanity New Zealand group chief executive officer Alan Thorp. "The PHO programme is one way we can enable this to happen for low-to-medium income families, who have the ability to pay rent but for a range of reasons are unable to secure a mortgage from a bank at this point in time.
"We are extremely proud to be working alongside these families in a practical way to help them achieve housing security and stability. Ultimately, this is about empowering them to build a solid foundation for their whānau."
Habitat New Zealand will receive an $8.25 million zero-interest loan to partially fund the build of 33 affordable homes in the Waikato, Nelson and Auckland regions as phase one of the PHO programme.
"We are excited to be partnering with the Government in a way which gives families a hand up. With almost 30 years of delivering a rent-to-own programme in New Zealand, we are one of Progressive Home Ownership's largest and most experienced providers," says Mr Thorp.
"We can deliver at scale and are committed to providing opportunities for more families who are struggling with housing insecurity to have a place of their own to call home."
Habitat selects families for the PHO programme based on their housing need, a willingness to partner and the potential to fulfil the requirements of the programme.
One Hamilton future homeowner says this opportunity means they are able to put hard-earned money toward their own home, and not be stuck in an endless rental cycle.
Another says the biggest barrier they face is the ability to obtain a home loan.
"Our family needs somewhere where we can eventually settle down. If we can pay rent and pay our bills, we can definitely pay a mortgage."
Habitat for Humanity is a founding member of the KiwiBuy coalition, which also includes the New Zealand Housing Foundation, the Salvation Army and Community Housing Aotearoa, and has been campaigning for Progressive Home Ownership since 2018.
Since 1993, Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand has assisted more than 530 whānau into their own home, along with helping thousands more through various other programmes.
• Homes will be two to three bedrooms, with footprints between 90 to 105sq m
• 12 homes being built in Te Kārearea, Hamilton
• Three homes are already completed and families are planning to move in from March 13 onwards
• The remaining nine homes are under construction and expected to be completed progressively by June 2021
• At least eight of the families are Waikato-Tainui
• 40 per cent of families Habitat works with are Pasifika or Māori
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has been working in New Zealand since 1993.
Habitat for Humanity supports people to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
Habitat also works extensively in the Pacific, helping families in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to access safe and affordable homes, including after disasters.
• To learn more, visit: www.habitat.org.nz