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Struggling Kiwi family becomes a homeowner through KiwiBuy

Monday 19th May 2019

Struggling Kiwi family becomes a homeowner through a KiwiBuy solution

Tammy Ngawhika has recently achieved her dream of becoming a homeowner, together with her four children. She attained her goal through Progressive Home Ownership. Progressive Home ownership is one of the KiwiBuy products the Government is being urged to adopt by housing providers Habitat for Humanity, the New Zealand Housing Foundation, Community Housing Aotearoa and The Salvation Army.

Now I get to be lord of my land instead of being accountable to a landlord. This is our Whare, and it’s like our Marae. I built this house from scratch, and it’s all mine. It’s about self-esteem and identity” says Tammy.

“Progressive Home Ownership assists families locked out of the housing market into homeownership,” says Alan Thorp, Deputy CEO of Habitat for Humanity New Zealand. “It is a proven, tested model based on partnership, where the family works to build a track record and a deposit while living in a home which is theirs.”

Using Progressive Homeownership Habitat for Humanity has successfully partnered with 500 low and moderate-income families in New Zealand. All 500 are now either homeowners or on a pathway to homeownership thanks to Progressive Home Ownership, with many able to help children into home ownership.

Families assisted by Habitat in its 25 years in New Zealand typically spend five years renting the new home they have partnered with Habitat to build. After five years of meeting a series of partnership conditions, they agree to purchase the home at its original value when they are able - with a portion of the family’s rent helping to build a deposit.

“Progressive Home Ownership succeeds due to five components: a well priced home, a period of stable rental and support services, the subsidy it requires, and of course the family’s willingness and potential,” said Mr Thorp. “Like lots of things, it does require a subsidy. But what our experience shows is that this is a small cost up-front to fully resolve a family’s reliance on welfare and other support. Progressive Home Ownership is a proven solution to inter generational poverty.”

“Families on low and moderate income are locked out of the housing market by an inflated housing market, but also access to credit, too little savings, debt, and many other barriers,” said Mr Thorp. “this is especially hard on young people, Pasifika families, and Maori families.”

Convincing the Government to adopt KiwiBuy is the aim of the campaign by the four organisations. If the Government incorporated KiwiBuy solutions like Habitat for Humanity’s progressive home ownership, in its sale of Kiwibuild houses, more low and medium income, New Zealand families could have homes of their own.

“Community Housing Organisations are ready to help more Kiwis into homes of their own, but we can't do it unless we have Government support,” said KiwiBuy campaign director Major Campbell Roberts.


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