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Richmond families given a hand-up into homeownership


27 Mar 2024
Nelson Richmond Dedication March24 1 e1712009123382

This week four Richmond families will spend their first night in brand new homes that they will one day own. On Wednesday 27th, Habitat for Humanity Nelson dedicated the homes in their latest development.

These are the first homes that Habitat Nelson has built in Richmond as part of its Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) programme. Since 1996 Habitat Nelson has built 43 Homes across the Nelson and Tasman region. A further 10 are planned before the end of 2024.

The families embarking on Habitat’s rent-to-buy scheme have partnered with Habitat Nelson and will pay an affordable rent for up to 10 years before they transition to buying their homes. Habitat Nelson then recognises the rent paid by the families (less expenses such as rates and insurance) as a deposit towards the purchase of the home. The families will then purchase the home from Habitat Nelson by obtaining a mortgage from a bank.

“Through our affordable housing programmes we build more than just houses – we build strength, stability and self-reliance for the future” says Katrina Bach, General Manager, Habitat Nelson.

This programme is viewed as a partnership between “future homeowners” and Habitat Nelson.

“We are extremely proud to be working alongside these families in a practical way which will help them achieve housing security and stability,” says Ms Bach.

Habitat’s PHO programme enables families to become mortgage-ready and provides a hand up to families who have a clear housing need and aspire to home ownership, yet are unable to buy a home without some support.

One of the ways Habitat Nelson works with its PHO families is enabling them to participate in financial education. External financial experts share their advice on mortgages, financial planning, budgeting and how to make the most of KiwiSaver with PHO families.

“These seminars are already proving to be very successful. For example one of our partner families has improved their financial situation and are now on a growth saving track,” says Ms Bach.

“While another has decided to create an emergency fund, separate from their savings, so they don’t feel like they are always dipping into their savings making it harder to get ahead.”

Future homeowners also invest time into their home by contributing their time to work on interior painting, landscaping or supporting the community in other ways.

This development has been made possible with the generous support of Habitat Nelson’s funding partners which include Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga-Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Rātā Foundation, Christian Savings, One Forty One, as well as local tradies and businesses who have either discounted or donated material or their time.

Rātā Foundation Chief Executive, Leighton Evans says “Access to affordable, stable housing is a fundamental building block of positive health, well-being, educational, and social outcomes. The project addresses many regional barriers aspiring homeowners face. It empowers individuals and families to overcome obstacles to achieve homeownership.”

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