Lauren, from Upper Hutt

PHOTO: Lauren, from Upper Hutt

Registered nurse and parent Lauren, from Upper Hutt, never thought she’d own her own home, until one day she happened to see a post on a friend’s Facebook page about Habitat for Humanity’s Progressive Home Ownership opportunities in Wallaceville Estate.


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After doing a little bit of research into Habitat and the Progressive Home Ownership programme, applying “was like, a no-brainer”.

“To be honest, I thought I had no chance and my application was just going to go nowhere,” Lauren said. “I didn’t think that I would be eligible in comparison to other people.”

Lauren was staying with friends on holiday in New Plymouth when she got the call from Habitat Central’s Tenancy Manager, Dave, saying she’d been selected for a new two-bedroom house in Wallaceville, with her seven-year-old son, Brody.

“It was amazing. I solidly happy-cried for the rest of the day after that call.”

The 37 year old and Brody moved into their new home at the end of May. Over a period of around 10 years, Lauren will work towards purchasing the house through Habitat’s rent-to-own Progressive Home Ownership programme. Habitat supports Lauren with security of tenure throughout her tenancy period, and affordable rent payments which will contribute towards her deposit when she’s ready to take out a mortgage.

This support is a huge reassurance for Lauren, who had been renting one of three flats in a block that went up for sale a few years ago.

“I thought, either I’m going to get a new landlord and rent’s going to go up $200 a week, or it’ll sell to a developer who’ll knock them down and I’ll have to find a new place to live.

“I love the fact that we can live here forever.”

While she loved the great location and her amazing neighbours at her former house, it was really cold and damp, and things were mouldy all the time. One of the first things she noticed about living in her new home was the warmth.

“It can be a freezing cold day outside and walking upstairs you can just feel the temperature rising. It’s all nice and new.”

Lauren recommends anyone interested in applying for Habitat’s Progressive Home Ownership programme should go for it.

“You’d be silly not to try. There’s nothing about the programme that isn’t helpful to you.

“It’s still a little like, pinch-myself – is this real?”

Habitat is currently accepting expressions of interest for Progressive Home Ownership opportunities in Papamoa, 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).