Two Christchurch families in housing need will soon move into homes they will one day own today as part of Habitat for Humanity New Zealand’s Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) programme. The two families will move into their newly built homes in Hoon Hay as part of Habitat’s rent-to-buy programme offered in Christchurch in the coming week.
“It’s like a dream come true to move into our own home,” says Lucy, Future Homeowner with Habitat. “We are over the moon and can’t believe we will be in our own home for Christmas this year.”
“We’ve been delivering Habitat’s home ownership programme in Christchurch for 28 years, and in that time we’ve worked with over 30 families to support them into home ownership,” says Stephen Roach, General Manager, Habitat for Humanity Christchurch. “Having a warm, decent and healthy home to live in is life changing for the families we work with.”
Under Habitat’s programme, whānau become mortgage ready over a period of up to 10 years. Families are not ready to apply for a mortgage initially and Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) programme supports them to be in the position to draw down a mortgage with a bank or commercial lender by the end of the programme.
“The families we work with are not out on a Saturday morning looking for a home. For a range of reasons, they probably believe home ownership is an impossible dream. However, by partnering with Habitat they are able to realise this dream,” says Alan Thorp, Group Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.
“We work with families based on their housing need, willingness to partner with Habitat and potential to fulfil the requirements of the programme. Home ownership provides security of tenure, it provides a healthier environment to live in and it provides stability for each family that has long-term inter-generational benefits.”
The current suite of PHO homes Habitat is delivering has been made possible due to the Government’s $400 million interest free loan facility managed by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
Since March 2021, 18 families have moved into their own home through Habitat’s PHO programme, another 13 have been selected to partner with Habitat and a further 42 houses are in the pipeline to be built or purchased over next couple of years.
For Habitat, the PHO loan facility covers about half the cost of the home, with the organisation having to find the remainder of the finance.
“We can’t do this by ourselves, which is why partnerships such as the one we have with MHUD is crucial to enabling community housing providers like us to continue to make a life-changing difference for the families we work with.”
Nationally, Habitat has secured in excess of $22 million from the PHO programme which part subsidises the delivery of 73 homes in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty and Auckland in the next couple of years.
Habitat has been delivering a PHO programme in New Zealand since 1993 and has supported 540 families into home ownership over this period.