Buster, Natalie and their three children Aaliyah-Jade (6), Malakai (4) and Zaylah (8mths) are the latest whanau to become a Habitat partner family through our Progressive Home Ownership Programme.

Living in a cold, damp, 2-bedroom state home in Motueka, the pair were thrilled when one night they saw an ad pop up on Facebook from Habitat seeking expressions of interest from whanau experiencing housing need for two new homes being built in Motueka.

Natalie recalls, “We had tried to apply for a house previously with the bank, but they told us that we wouldn’t qualify. We were so heartbroken.”

“When this opportunity with Habitat came up, I just thought we need to give this a go, otherwise we’re never going to be able to get our foot in the door.”

After coming along to one of Habitat’s information sessions, filling in the application form and going through the rigorous selection process, Buster and Natalie were over the moon when they found out they were selected to become one of Habitat’s partner families!

“We felt so overwhelmed when we found out we were going to become a Habitat partner family – I just went silent. I cried happy tears!”

“Everyone was so happy and excited, especially the kids to have their own bedrooms! Bedtime is now so much easier. It used to take hours and they would always fight with each other, but now they’re in their own bed they just settle down so much quicker.”

Before partnering with Habitat, Natalie and Buster’s children would suffer periodically with health problems as a result of their housing. The kids would often having to go to the doctors due to chest infections and ending up on inhalers and antibiotics.

“We would have to run the dehumidifier all the time and it would collect heaps of water just in their bedroom, because it would never see the sun.”

“We definitely notice a big difference being here already, noticing how dry it is, just walking into the room. It was just always cold in our house and constantly damp. There’s no condensation in our new home and the extra space is amazing – it feels a lot more like a home. Like a proper home.” 

Through Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership Programme, Buster and Natalie will partner with Habitat on a 5-year journey to become homeowners.

Habitat works on the model of offering a hand-up for whanau in housing need. Helping them to achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance that comes from having a decent, secure and affordable place to call home.