A healthier, safer home

Mar 3, 2020

One Hamilton family was relieved to have much needed work done through Habitat’s home repair programme, easing fears and concerns for their wellbeing. 

But it wasn’t a safety concern that first prompted Sopo Fuifui to contact Habitat – she had decided to reach out for help with insulation.  

Sopo (28) and Andrew (27) live in Hamilton with their children Emmanuel (4) and Channah (9 months) and another baby on the way. Andrew works as a cabinet maker and Sopo is a home maker and operates a small printing business from home. 

They contacted Habitat in 2018 as their children’s health was being compromised due to lack of insulation in their house. At the time of application, Sopo was the only earning member of the family as Andrew was not able to work due to a hand injury.  The home repair programme enabled the family to get the critical work done and facilitate them to make the no-interest repayments over a period of five years.   

Soon after applying to Habitat, floor insulation was installed in their home, making it a warm and safe place for the family.  

“After a couple of weeks later our insulation was in and it just felt… amazing,” Sopo said. 

But it wasn’t long before Sopo had cause to contact Habitat again – Andrew was changing a light bulb and felt a severe shock in his hand.  

“It (light bulb) just popped and he said he literally felt a shock going through his hand,” she said. 

Sopo again contacted Habitat as Channah was a newborn and their room was in dark for more than two weeks after the incident. A team from Alpha Electrical inspected and unveiled a severe wiring issue – they recommended rewiring the house as soon as possible.  

(Sopo and Channah) 

 “We were praying every night …God just protect us,” Sopo said.  

“I’m just very thankful to Habitat… I don’t know how we would go on. Habitat has always been there to help.” 

Habitat’s home repair programme is supported by the BNZ, and helps low income families back on track with their home maintenance. For affordable and interest free repayments to the homeowner over five years period, Habitat carries out most urgent home repair projects, such as fixing a leaky roof, painting the outside or renovating a bathroom or kitchen.