From one room to a whole house – Habitat supports whānau to achieve their housing dream

Mar 20, 2023

A Te Arawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa whānau from Rotorua are excited to have a place to call their own, partnering with Habitat for Humanity to end a long search for suitable housing.

Te reo Māori teacher Tuterangiwhiu, his wife Carmen, who is self-employed, and their two young children – aged five and six – had been living in a bedroom at a friend’s house for more than two years. Through Habitat for Humanity’s Progressive Home Ownership programme, the whānau celebrated their move into a new three-bedroom house in Sanctuary Point, Tauranga, on Friday, 17 March.

Habitat team members joined the whānau to celebrate their first steps into their new home.

“You’ve just helped me break the cycle of homelessness within my family,” said an emotional Carmen. “My children will always have somewhere safe and warm. We’re really looking forward to a new, hopeful, positive, better, and brighter future.”

Progressive Home Ownership is a rent-to-own system which offers families security of tenure and affordable rental payments as they work towards home ownership over a period of up to 10 years. For future homeowners Tuterangiwhiu and Carmen, this alleviates a lot of their worries.

“It’s really awesome, particularly for Carmen – it’s been her dream to be able to get into her own home,” Tuterangiwhiu said.

“Just knowing that no one is going to come and ask for their house back, and then we’re out of a house. And for the kids to be able to do what they want in their own spaces, without having to worry. We’re really grateful to Habitat for selecting us for this opportunity.”

Habitat Central Chief Executive Nic Greene said, “Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership programme offers a hand up to whānau, like Tuterangiwhiu and Carmen, who have a clear housing need and who would be unlikely to be able to buy a home without some support.

“We’re overjoyed to see Tuterangiwhiu and Carmen move into their new home and begin this new phase of their life as they work towards independent home ownership.”

Tuterangiwhiu and Carmen are the final future homeowners to occupy a Habitat house at Sanctuary Point. Two other families moved into their homes in December 2022.

Habitat is currently accepting expressions of interest for Progressive Home Ownership opportunities in Papamoa, Rotorua, Hamilton, and Wellington. Find out more here or fill out an Expression of Interest form here.