Habitat Women: A conversation with Emily, our smiling face

Mar 8, 2023

My name is Emily. I was the recipient of Habitat Northern’s Progressive Home Ownership (PHO). So I live in this lovely Habitat home. Which I’m wanting to own one day through the Rent-to-Buy Programme.


How did you get involved with Habitat Northern?

It started from a phone call. My husband passed away in 2018 and we were renting at the time, so I needed to look for a way to have a more stable place for my daughters. They were three and five.

I thought I should put in my application with Habitat. When I heard about the Rent-to-Buy Programme it seemed like there might be a chance for us. Then I got a phone call from Habitat unexpectedly one day. They said there was an opportunity if I want to apply. After all the process, I was lucky to be selected.


What sort of challenges did you face before getting help from Habitat and then along the way?

Before applying for Habitat, I explored my options and came to a realisation that owning our own home was going to be a dream that would never come true. We all know the Auckland market, it’s just impossible. Especially relying on a single income with two dependent children. So I put the idea aside.

With Habitat coming along it felt like a miracle. I’m very grateful. I know that something like this would have never happened on my own. It’s great to have Habitat as an organisation to support me and the kids going through this and have a goal to work towards, and a bright future. I think that’s life changing.


How long have you been living in Auckland?

I came to New Zealand in 2009. Then I’ve been working in Auckland since 2012. So 10 years now.

I found a loving kiwi husband, and then I stayed.


As a mother of two girls, is there something that you’d want to impart on them as they grow up to be women in New Zealand?

Growing up in New Zealand, they can have more freedom, more choices, more options. Women are more respected in New Zealand. I’d just want them to be happy being themselves, being brave and not afraid to explore the world. I want them to see what’s happening in other countries globally as well so they appreciate what they have.


As you know, Habitat’s all about supporting whānau into warm, dry, affordable homes. Often at the heart of these homes are strong women. I wondered if there was a woman in your life who has or continues to inspire you?

It would have to be my mum. She grew up in a difficult time and where my hometown is there was a huge earthquake. In those times, it took much longer to reboot. I was lucky with my parents and my mum, she said it doesn’t matter how difficult society is, her and my dad always tried to do the best for their children.


What’s a word that you’d use to describe yourself?

I try to be positive, loving and supportive. I think self-love has played a big part for me in this journey. There’s a lot of responsibilities with being a mum. I think, especially on International Women’s Day, I want to remind all the ladies to have a bit of time and patience for themselves.

Especially being a solo mum. Not getting others support. So sometimes I just, take a deep breath and say ‘you got this’.


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