Many people can only dream of owning their own home. But The New Zealand Housing Foundation (HF) is making this dream a reality for families across the country. HF provides options for getting New Zealanders into new homes of their own, helping them manage their finances so overtime they can afford to buy it outright.
HF is a not-for-profit, charitable trust set up to support and grow the community housing sector and provide affordable housing for low income households. The organisation is focused on developing communities and growing strong, safe neighbourhoods.
HF has the backing of some leading philanthropic organisations, such as The Tindall Foundation, and is supported by central government in many of its developments and programmes.
Since the organisation was established in 2001, HF has helped 200 Kiwi families move in to homes of their own. HF is currently in the process of developing another four housing developments, two in Auckland, one in Christchurch and one in Kaikohe.
Vikki Ham, 45, is one of the many people helped by HF. She tells her story of how it feels to be given the chance to own her own home and how it has changed her life and the future for her two sons.
Ko Taupo te awa
Ko Tongariro te maunga
Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa te iwi
Ko Ngai Te Aho te Hapu
Ko Korohe te marae
Ko Vikki Ham toku ingoa
Oku tamariki ko James raua ko Paikera (Morehu)
Through my ancestors I have a connection to:
Lake Taupo and Mt Tongariro
My tribe and sub tribe is Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngai Te Aho
My marae is Korohe
My name is Vikki Ham and my sons names are James and Paikera Morris
(Whakapapa – genealogy)
Ever since she was young, Vikki Ham has had a goal to own her own home. But the mother-of-two never imagined her dream would be achievable.
Today, she stands proudly in the kitchen of her brand new home in the Auckland suburb of Massey. After years of hard work and thanks to the assistance of HF, Vikki has a place she can call her own and a home for her two sons, now aged 21 and 18. Her warm sunny home is one of 11 houses built by HF in a lane in Colwill Rd, West Auckland.
Vikki, who had been living in a two-bedroom unit with her sons for 10 years, was delighted to move in to her new home in February this year. “I was battling breast cancer, working full time, bringing up my two sons on my own, and I just never thought it would be possible to be in a lovely, brand-new home like this – and best of all it’s ours.
“It was so overwhelming and empowering to have reached a life time goal. It was amazing waking up in my own home for the first time, it was like, wow is this for real? If it wasn’t for the Housing Foundation, I would never have had the opportunity to own my own home. I probably would have been renting for the rest of my life.”
There is no doubt that Vikki has worked incredibly hard to achieve her goal, doing everything she could to make it a reality for her and her sons.
“My Mum died when I was 13 and my Dad when I was 18 and I pretty much raised myself after that. I had my two boys when I was young and went back to university as an adult and got a degree. I also undertook and achieved my postgraduate in 2009 and I know my parents would be proud of what I have achieved.”
Vikki heard about HF through a work colleague and only one year after making initial contact with HF she was moving in to her own home.
Vikki was able to purchase the house through HF’s Affordable Equity programme. It enabled her to purchase a share of the home at a level she could afford, with HF owning the other portion. With the guidance and support of HF, Vikki organised her own mortgage and used her KiwiSaver as a deposit. The advantage of this arrangement with HF meant Vikki was able to take on a smaller mortgage than would normally need to purchase her home at the market value.
“The process was very straightforward. I’d never applied for a loan or mortgage before. I didn’t realise I could use my KiwiSaver as a deposit. This made things a lot easier. I didn’t have any debt, had been working in the same job for 10 years had no credit cards, so this certainly helped with my application.
“Having my own home means I have freedom to do what I want. I can hang things up on the walls! When I was renting someone came to inspect the house every three months, and I wasn’t allowed to hang photos or anything up on the walls to make it a home.”
When Vikki lived in the rented unit, as her sons grew older, she moved into the sitting room to give her sons a bedroom each. Now she has a four-bedroom house she can’t believe how spacious it is.
“When we first moved into our brand new home, it felt so big and so warm because it was insulated. I hardly even felt winter this year as oppose to last year as the unit we were renting at the time wasn’t insulated. It took me quite a while to get use to having my own bedroom. It was just amazing!”
The NZ Housing Foundation development where Vikki lives in a private lane just off West Coast Rd in Massey. “I love the area. I love the view and smell of the sea. I love the big kitchen. Now I cook heaps. My son especially loves the shower. He is 6’5” and his only request for the new house was that the shower head would be tall enough so he could enjoy a shower without stooping over!”
All of the families living in HF houses in Colwill Rd have made the street their own. Many of the gardens are beautifully manicured. You can tell the owners take great pride in their homes.
“There is great community spirit in the street. We all look out for each other and each other’s properties. I knew nothing about gardening and I’ve never had the need to own a lawn mower until now. It’s great to have neighbours who are there to give gardening advice and help me out. They share their ideas and gardening products.”
Once all the families had moved into the lane, the Foundation held a ‘meet your neighborhood’ BBQ event. Says Vikki, “We also got to meet some of the stakeholders from the Foundation and it was good to be able to mix and mingle and to say thank you. Each family were also gifted a wheel barrow, garden tools etc to take away with them – which I know was much appreciated by all.”
Vikki is hugely grateful to HF for all their help and support.
“My home is an extension to my kainga tuturu and it means everything to me and my sons to have somewhere they can call their own. Like their whakapapa (genealogy, it is their foundation and they feel connected. It also provides me with peace of mind that I have done my utmost best for my sons and that if anything happens – no matter what they have a home to call their own – thank you New Zealand Housing Foundation”
The benefits of Shared-Ownership
- You get all the privileges of ownership without funding 100%.
- You buy what you can afford.
- Your share grows in proportion to your investment.
- You can increase your share to 100% over time
- When you want to move on, you sell your equivalent share (e.g. 75%) back to HF, or to the open market, based on an independent valuation less a management fee.