Broadway in Newmarket, Auckland, will stage a one-of-a-kind house build this month as 200 volunteers step up to the challenge to build a four bedroom home in two and a half weeks.
The Habitat for Humanity project, “The Helping Hands Build”, aims to get people thinking about the quality and availability of housing in Auckland and around the country — a timely social issue affecting more and more Kiwis every day.
“Housing has got to be one of the biggest issues on the political landscape this year, being an election year,” Habitat executive director Conrad LaPointe says.
“We believe everyone deserves a decent place to live. Stable, healthy and affordable housing is the foundation of building a better New Zealand — it results in improved education and career opportunities, reduced crime and better health outcomes,” he says.
The Helping Hands build, which is being undertaken in co-operation with partners St Cuthberts College and Rotary Club of Newmarket, will take place on April 29 to May 13 on the corner of Broadway and Mahuru Street.
On completion, the house will be moved to a site in Kaikohe, ready for a family of nine to move into.
The new partner family, including parents Athena and Te Akau and their kids, were told last week they were to be part of the Habitat Assisted Home Ownership scheme, and are delighted.
Through the scheme, partner families contribute 500 hours of their own time to building their house or someone else’s in the programme, or volunteering in one of Habitat’s Restores.
Once a Habitat partner’s home is completed, the family makes affordable regular repayments to Habitat on a non-profit basis.
Habitat’s rent-then-buy model helps families build up a deposit which they can use when seeking independent finance, and then buy their home from Habitat.
The new partner families’ monthly payments go into a revolving fund held by Habitat. This fund is reinvested into the community, as it is used to build more homes for families in housing need.
With nearly half of Kiwis living in cold or damp houses, and one in four houses considered to be in poor condition, it is vital that safe, dry and affordable housing is available.
With so many people barely able to afford rental accommodation, let alone home ownership, Habitat for Humanity’s rent-then-buy model is a fantastic solution to help families get into safe, permanent homes.
Several corporate sponsors and funders have already contributed donations or gifts in kind to The Helping Hands Build, including Bunnings, Dulux, Assa Abloy and Fairfax Media.
“We still have a long way to go to raise the $150,000 for this build, and would value any contributions by businesses or individual members of the Newmarket community and beyond,” Habitat marketing and communications manager Debbie Swanwick says.
For further information or to register your support, visit www.helpinghandsbuild.org.nz or call 09 271 3357.