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Children build “decent homes” to raise awareness

NEWS RELEASE

Children build “decent homes” to raise awareness of NZ housing issues

16 September 2014 For immediate release

Habitat for Humanity kicks off its third annual national children’s event, the Build Challenge, on 27 September.

Launched in 2011, the purpose of the event is to educate children from a young age about what it means to have a decent home to live in. Participation in the Build Challenge is free, and children can enter the competition and participate in fun events in their local communities by building homes with LEGO®. Events will happen throughout New Zealand during the school holidays, from 29 September to 11 October.

Conrad LaPointe, Habitat’s Resource and Development Manager, explained, “This year’s Build Challenge has a greater focus on educating children about the characteristics of a decent house and factors all families need to incorporate when building a safe, healthy, and affordable home.”

Housing issues in New Zealand affect the wealth, health and quality of life of many New Zealand children and families. New Zealand currently has some of the least affordable housing in the developed world, with a house costing between 6-8 times an average household income.

“Escalating housing costs keep families in the cycle of poverty. Habitat is working worldwide, including right here in New Zealand, to accomplish our mission of achieving a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” LaPointe said.

He explained that during the Build Challenge, “The children who participate by building a LEGO® brick house are asked to include each of the three main characteristics that define a decent home: Affordability, habitability, and suitability.

“Affordability looks at the cost of the house, with the goal of still having money left over to pay for other things such as food, clothing, and transport. Habitability means a house protects its family from the outside elements. And suitability means the house is suitable for the family’s needs and in close proximity to allow for easy community interaction with amenities such as schools and shops nearby.”

Habitat has created a series of videos for children to view before they build their LEGO® Brick House during this year’s event. These can be found at www.buildchallenge.org. Participants are asked to register online to secure a spot at a local Build Challenge event or to build at home, and there are great prizes from LEGO® to be won.

Auckland Build Challenge events include:

Monday, 29 September: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 7 Dora Street, Henderson

Tuesday, 30 September: Takapuna Grammar School, Lake Road, Takapuna

Wednesday, 1 October: Pukekohe Intermediate School, Queen Street, Pukekohe

Thursday, 2 October: Onehunga High School, Pleasant Street, Onehunga

Friday, 3 October: Baverstock Oaks Primary School, 21 Baverstock Road, Flat Bush

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is an international not-for-profit organisation with the mission of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity works to eliminate substandard housing by building and repairing homes for people in housing need in New Zealand and around the world. We partner with families in housing need to find appropriate long-term solutions to their particular housing issues. Since 1993 Habitat for Humanity has supported 600 Kiwi families.

--ENDS--


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