Kristy Knox’s kids are at the forefront of all her decisions. When a Habitat for Humanity Progressive Home Ownership opportunity came up in Papamoa, Kristy, who works in recruitment, saw it as not just a chance to work towards owning her first home, but also to help set up her kids – Brooklyn (18), Royce (14), and Marley (8) – for the future.
“I used to be in the army, and then we moved to Tauranga and rented for years. I’ve lived here since 2008 and I didn’t see myself not renting – especially as the sole income earner,” says Kristy.
“Knowing how tough it can be and how expensive things can be, I think this is the perfect time to move into home ownership and I want for my kids to have that goal of owning a home, rather than it being something they can’t do as they get older.”
Kristy, of Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, first heard about Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership programme through a friend. At the end of June, Kristy became the first family to move into one of six Habitat houses in Papamoa.
She describes it as a stepping stone to set her kids up – something she didn’t think she would be able to do anytime soon. Over a period of up to 10 years, Kristy will work towards purchasing her house through the rent-to-own programme. Affordable weekly rent payments will contribute towards a mortgage when Kristy is ready.
“It’s normal for me to be renting but it’s going to be so awesome to be able to take over and be owner of the house as well. It’s going to be life changing – I wouldn’t have been able to do that without that help.
“It’s a foot in the door to get yourself into the property market and it’s really affordable, rather than being an extremely hard goal and not being attainable.”
Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership whānau commit to 350 hours of sweat equity, made up by attending education workshops and carrying out community work – something that comes naturally to Kristy, who is quite involved with the local touch community. She’s the secretary for one of the local touch clubs, manages the Men’s Tauranga Moana team that plays at the Māori touch nationals, and also manages the Bay of Plenty Men’s touch team.
For Kristy, home is a place of stability and being connected; a warm place to return to where everyone can be themselves. Somewhere full of love and support.
Habitat Central is currently accepting expressions of interest for the remaining Papamoa houses, as well as Progressive Home Ownership opportunities in Rotorua and Hamilton.
Habitat’s programme is supported by the Progressive Home Ownership Fund – a $400 million investment managed by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will help between 1,500 and 4,000 individuals, families, and whānau who wouldn’t otherwise get into housing to buy their own homes. Organisations can access the Fund to establish or expand their progressive home ownership programmes through the provider pathway or Te Au Taketake (Iwi and Māori pathway).