KiwiBuy: a solution for home ownership

May 1, 2019

At Habitat for Humanity we believe in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Unfortunately the housing affordability crisis we are witnessing in many cities and communities in Aotearoa is a huge stumbling block in making our shared vision a reality.

In the past 30 years we have seen home ownership rates fall dramatically and the cost of renting increase considerably. Today, we’re inviting you to join us, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Community Housing Aotearoa, and other community organisations in calling for a solution – KiwiBuy.

Every day we see families living with the effects of housing stress. Overcrowding causes relationship stress.  High housing cost causes debt.  Damp, cold, poor quality housing causes disease.  The loss of home ownership in New Zealand contributes to poor health, educational and social outcomes, worsening child poverty, and is particularly harmful for Māori and Pacific peoples.

This cannot be the legacy that we leave for the next generation. There is a better way.


KiwiBuild – the government’s solution

The government is attempting to address the housing crisis through a number of measures including their KiwiBuild programme.

It is a good start.  But KiwiBuild as it currently stands does not go far enough.

KiwiBuild houses are too expensive. Families with household income under $90,000 living in communities like Auckland will never be able to own a KiwiBuild home. Families with children will struggle to own a KiwiBuild home.


Our Solution – KiwiBuy

Solving New Zealand’s housing crisis is not possible through construction alone. Families need financial support to turn around the decades of neglect and declining home ownership rates.

More Kiwis could be owning their own home in the next 5 years if the Government made a commitment to scale up the successful work that Housing Foundation, Habitat and other community providers are doing to assist hundreds of Kiwi whānau into their own homes.

We’re inviting you to join us in our KiwiBuy campaign.

KiwiBuy combines proven and innovative pathways to home ownership, including Shared Ownership and Progressive Home Ownership.

We know that these initatives work.

Shared Ownership helps households into home ownership by allowing them to purchase part of a new home, while the government or another party holds a share of the owner-occupier’s home. By doing so the remaining mortgage costs are more affordable to the household.

Progressive Home Ownership is a partnership-based programme which assists people in housing need move towards independent home ownership. The first step for many households who cannot raise a deposit is to enter an affordable rental programme with secure tenure for five or more years whilst they get mortgage ready. These products succeed when there is (1) a selection criteria, (2) support services, (3) stable tenure, (4) subsidy, and (5) a well-priced home.

With the right support, whānau who become homeowners can make dramatic changes to their lives.  Be it stable employment, tertiary qualifications, or the ability to begin building a nest egg, Progressive Home Ownership helps households have hope for the future.Habitat for Humanity has been assisting families in New Zealand in need of decent housing into home ownership for the past 25 years.  In this time Habitat have supported more than 500 families into a place they can call home.

The Housing Foundation (HF) has been operating a shared ownership programme for ten years.  It has supported hundreds of households into home ownership who would not have otherwise been able to do so.


What can you do?

KiwiBuy is an opportunity to address and reduce the poverty many families in Aotearoa face – permanently. Home ownership is a powerful tool for wealth accumulation through providing a broad range of benefits includsing stability and having a stake in the local community.

We’re asking you today to join us. You can help make KiwiBuy a reality. Look out for KiwiBuy on Facebook this week, and share the campaign with your friends.

In the next few weeks, look out for more ways to support a call for better home ownership solutions, including

  • a dedicated website
  • a housing calculator
  • on Facebook
  • and other ideas

The result of Aotearoa’s housing crisis is not just poorer living conditions for the large and growing number of families locked out of the housing market, but a massive inequity of future wealth and more families stuck in the rental poverty trap.

The housing programmes inside KiwiBuy are tested and proven. KiwiBuy would not only help reduce housing poverty immediately but begin to fully resolve inter-generational poverty for families. This campaign has been created to assist low and moderate income households into pathways towards independent home ownership. We bring together expertise, capability and a substantial record of delivering successful outcomes for those in need.

We hope you’ll join us.