Habitat for Humanity Northern Region and Auckland based Penina Trust are pleased to announce a partnership to improve home ownership for Pasifika communities in South Auckland. As an experienced Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) provider, Habitat are working along-side Penina Trust to support them with their application to become one of the first Pasifika Progressive Home Ownership providers in Auckland. Penina will access loan funding through the Governments Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) programme, to provide much needed homes for first-home buyers. Penina Trust Chief Executive Roine Lealaiauloto believes home ownership strengthens our communities. “If we want to make a real positive change in our communities to address poverty, fear of displacement, and ensure our Pacific children don’t end up at 10 different schools before they get to college, then we need to work together to build stability through a pathway to homeownership. This has positive social, educational and health outcomes and builds a family’s wealth, leaving our children with something to give them a hand up in life not a handout,” she said. Ms Lealaiauloto says that families are at the centerpiece of our approach; “There is a Samoan saying ‘E le o le fale a o le anofale’ – which translated means it is not the house it is what is contained within the house. Families are found within these homes, with needs, aspirations, sufferings, successes, and failures in life.” “Supporting them through linking them to community resources often exposes them to a world of support that they never knew existed. No one provider will be able to support these families; it takes providers and communities (including these families) to work together to find the solutions they need” she said. Conrad LaPointe, Habitat Northern CEO, has learnt through experience how home ownership makes people more independent. “We know that safe and stable homes help to build strong and healthy families, and more resilient communities. With just a little support, home owners achieve the independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.” “We’ve been delivering a rent-to-buy programme in New Zealand for almost 30 years. Our partnership with Penina is a wonderful way to share our knowledge to help even more families into their own home and help us deliver on our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. “In Tamaki Makaurau we’ve helped 145 families into home ownership. And, while we will continue to do this, we can’t do it all alone. Therefore by working with Penina to become an accredited PHO provider, we see this as one way to amplify and increase home ownership for working families.” Nationally, Habitat has secured access to PHO loan funding to the value of $22 million from Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, which will part subsidise the delivery of 73 homes in Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty and Auckland in the next couple of years.