A Habitat for Humanity Home Repair loan has helped ensure Charles, from Horotiu, is ready for winter. Habitat Central Region has supported Charles, a pensioner, to complete repairs on his home, including having the roof replaced and a new heat pump installed.
Charles’ daughter, Wikky, says the repairs have had a massive impact on the Waikato-Tainui whānau.
“We walk into the house now and we don’t get rained on!” she said. “We don’t hear scratching in the roof anymore – the birds used to make their nests up in the roof. It’s made a huge difference in the warmth of the house as well. Even before the heat pump went in, the house was just a lot drier.”
The family has lived in the house since it was built in 1983, and Charles says they’re one of the last original families still living in the community. Their house is a place where family can always come back to.
“We’ve had a wedding here, a funeral here, birthdays and sports events where all our family comes through,” says Wikky.
With the house in need of some repairs, Wikky’s mum had looked into Habitat’s Home Repair programme, but it wasn’t until after she passed away that the family found the paperwork and decided to follow it up – that was when they first met Habitat’s Operations Manager, Alayne Duthie.
“She’s been amazing,” says Wikky. “Her patience has been incredible; she’s made it very easy for us.”
In addition to the new roof and heat pump, they’ve also had new vinyl flooring put down in the kitchen, dining, and passageway areas, and a new vanity installed in the bathroom.
Habitat’s Home Repair programme offers affordable, interest-free loans to homeowners for critical repairs. The work was also part-funded by Waikato-Tainui, who work in partnership with Habitat to support home repairs for their tribal members.
A heater grant through the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme covered a portion of the heat pump and installation. Charles and Wikky say they were expecting the heat pump to heat their living area but have been surprised to find the heat reaches their bedrooms, too. That, along with the new roof, means their home is now cosy and warm.
Wikky says it can be embarrassing for people to ask for help with their homes but encourages anyone who needs the help to reach out.
“I think that’s what most people are afraid of – being turned down. But they haven’t met Alayne.
“As hard as it’s been on our pride, everybody at Habitat is fantastic – I can’t say any more.”