A Tokoroa butcher and single parent has achieved her home ownership dream after 12 years of partnering with Habitat – securing a home her children can always come back to.
Brianne (39), a mother of five, said her kids are her strength and were the motivation that kept her going towards her home ownership goal.
“If it wasn’t for the kids, I wouldn’t have tried as hard,” she said. “But I got there.”
At the time of starting her Habitat Progressive Home Ownership journey in 2008, Brianne had her eye on the future.
“So once the children move out, they’ve got a home to come back to. They’ve got a backbone,” Brianne said.
“There were times when I was going to give up because I was struggling with money and, with children, having to do all by myself it was just overwhelming. But I got there. I just said ‘no, this is what I want, so I’ve got to keep going’.”
She began her journey with Habitat in 2008, alongside her former partner. But things got difficult when they separated three months after they moved in. Brianne continued with progressive home ownership, as a single parent to her two sets of twins, at the time aged three- and four-years-old.
She remembers feeling excited about the opportunity.
“I was over the moon. My dream was to own a house. To be stable for my children.”
Habitat for Humanity Central Chief Executive Nic Greene said Breanne had shown incredible self-determination and resilience to reach her goal of home ownership.
“We are really proud of Brianne – she has done an amazing job getting through the home ownership programme and now being independent and owning her own home.”
Greene said Habitat progressive home ownership was geared to support families through life’s challenges, with rent and payments normally set at no more than 30 per cent of household income.
“Homeownership requires sacrifice and hard work and Brianne has demonstrated both of those through really challenging circumstances to get to this point in her life.”
“Once again, well done Brianne for your hard work to get to where you are.“
Brianne is now looking forward to renovating and updating her home. She has already installed a new shower and her next project is to paint the house both inside and out, and redesign the garden area.
When asked about the programme process Brianne said “it’s long, but worth it.”
“I would like to say thank you to Habitat for giving me this opportunity to own my house. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership Programme sees future homeowners invest 500 hours of their time to build their own home or those of others as ‘sweat equity’, before entering a five-year rental phase. They make affordable rent payments based on their family income, which go towards an eventual deposit.