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Habitat Complete Another Blitz Build Home

Blitz Build Homeowner Profile

Jason (34) and Jean (34) Areaiiti have lived for the last four years with their three sons, Neccrom (15), Khan (10) and Justus (8) in a detached double garage on Jason’s parents’ property in Clendon. The family moved there for economic reasons and it also helps out Jason’s parents as they share expenses.

Tehiua Areaiiti, homeowner, uses a glue gun on a wall in her new house

The garage is metal-clad and has no insulation so gets cold in winter and stifling hot in summer. The family uses a gas heater in winter but when it gets too cold, the children sometimes move into their grandparents’ house for the night.

Prior to moving in with Jason’s parents, the family rented a nearby house for around four years. The children have enjoyed stable schooling and will remain at their current schools when they shift a couple of kilometres along the road into their new Habitat home. It will mean a school bus ride for one of them but Jason will drop the others off at their schools on his way to work. They will walk back to their grandparents’ house after school and Jason will collect them when he finishes work.

Jason has a stable job as a painter, having worked for the same company for 10 years. His work takes him all over Auckland and quite a bit of what he is now doing is maintenance painting. Jason, who has 15 years painting experience, says that Jean is also a good painter! Jean obtained her taxi license and now works from the airport as a Corporate Taxi driver. She works long hours and varying shifts.

The Areaiitis are excited about the prospect of owning their own home and for a long time after receiving the news of their selection, found it hard to sleep. They always wanted their own home but didn’t know how that could happen. Now Jason and Jean are relieved they don’t have to worry about their kids. The children are rapt to be getting their own room and that they will be able to bring friends home. Previously they felt embarrassed about inviting their friends to their garage.

The family is looking forward to helping build their own home and meeting all the volunteers who will help them. They have already almost completed their required 500 hours of participation. Jason is happy to do anything on his house but is especially keen to do the painting along with Jean. The other families are keen for him to paint their houses too, but he says that he can’t do five houses in a week. However, he has been able to get a couple of his workmates to come along and help out.

The Areaiitis have really enjoyed getting to know the other four Blitz Build families. The families enjoy each other’s company and the children have met and play together well. Jason and Jean think this is great because these people will be their new neighbours. Jason is also pleased because the five families include five different ethnic origins but all get along well. Jason says the families say to each other when they come on site, “Only two weeks to go!” or “It’s not long now!” They are really enjoying each others’ excitement.

Jason and Jean have also met another neighbour, Veli Ioasa who is also a Habitat house recipient. Veli is a solo mother and is very happy to have plenty of friendly new neighbours and is looking forward to taking part in the Blitz Build herself.

Their friends are really happy for them and more than a little envious. They’re all keen to find out about Habitat for Humanity and have been asking a lot of questions. The Areaiitis try to keep themselves humble amongst their friends, most of whom are renting and would love to be homeowners themselves.

Below is an approximate schedule for the week. The day starts at 7:30am with breakfast and a briefing, safety talk etc and goes through to 5pm with a stop for lunch and refreshments.

Date Event/Theme

Build officially starts: 12 March Walls up, ceiling panels on, roof trusses on 14 March Roof on, weatherboards on 15 March Weatherboards continue, windows, door frames 16 March Paint outside, posts and fences 17 March Paint inside, fencing, concrete paths 18 March Finish fencing, ground prep 19 March Final touch ups 20 March 1pm House Dedications and handover of keys

I have attached:

1. Our Blitz Build brochure 2. A village layout

If there is anything else I can help with, do let me know.

We have approx 125 people per day on site from the local community, corporates, building companies, churches and other groups. There will be one builder who overseas each house and underneath him there will be another 5 builders as team leaders. Each team leader will have 4 - 5 volunteers assigned to them, hence about 25 working on each house.

The volunteers are a great mix of people - from all backgrounds and ages. There will be students, tradespeople, grandparents and business people. For example Peter Watts who is the musical director and conductor of Auckland Choral which is this year celebrating 150 years will be among those volunteering. A team from the USA is also flying in especially for this build - they will spend the week prior sight-seeing and the week of the build - building. As part of Habitat for Humanity's international "global village" volunteering programme - they pay for all of their expenses and bring a donation to the project. The 5 partner homeowner families will be working on site as they use this opportunity to work off a part of their required 500 hours per family. The families will purchase the houses by taking a loan out to Habitat for Humanity which is on a no-interest basis with affordable repayments. This Blitz Build is a part of the celebration of the 10th year of Habitat for Humanity in Manukau. Habitat for Humanity Manukau is one of 19 branches of Habitat for Humanity nationwide. Those 19 branches have housed nearly 240 families. The completion of this Blitz Build will mean that Habitat for Humanity Manukau has housed 50 families over its 10 years. Internationally Habitat for Humanity has built approx 170,000 homes in 100 countries since its inception in 1976. Somewhere in the world a Habitat home is completed every 26 minutes.

Habitat for Humanity is very committed to the Tsunami response and will be building 25,000 houses over the next 2 years for Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia. Funds raised during this Blitz Build will go toward helping build 10 other homes in the Asia Pacific region.

For further reference:

Habitat for Humanity International www.habitat.org

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand http://www.habitatnz.co.nz

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