Whangārei mayor Vince Cocurullo at the opening of the new Habitat for Humanity homes.
A vast majority of the 10 families that will move into a new community housing development in Northland will be those of single parents.
The housing development in Onerahi was opened on February 17 and the families’ move-in date will be staggered over the next few weeks, as they will all be coming from transitional housing.
“Ninety per cent are single-parent families. All of them have been in transitional housing from one to three years,” Habitat for Humanity Northern region’s Kim Sinfield said.
Previously, the families were supported by other local-based housing providers.
The development is a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity Northern Region and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD), along with a local private developer, Build Right Limited.
Build Right Limited owns the land, which was previously vacant, and built the houses.
“We [Habitat for Humanity] are leasing it off them for a period of 10 years, where we then have to right to purchase the property,” Sinfield said.
The land was chosen because it was well-placed for social rental housing.
“It is close to public transport. It’s got a good community, good schools. And it’s a really nice neighbourhood to put a new community development into.”
For the families, Sinfield said the houses offered affordable and healthy living environments, as well as long-term security.
“There is no limit on tenure. The purpose of the social housing is to provide that security of tenure that these families have never had. It is their home for as long as they want.”
“The long-term security is important for the families. Their children are aged from 3 months to 14-years-old.”
The properties also offer open spaces for the children, and carports for off-street parking.
Sinfield said the houses were built with quality in mind to help ensure Whangārei has good-quality, long-term housing stock available.
At the opening, Whangārei mayor Vince Cocurullo said the weather events we were experiencing reinforced the absolute necessity for everyone in New Zealand to have access to dry, safe, fit-for-purpose housing.
“This is a basic need, and one that we are aiming to achieve within our region.”
Habitat for Humanity Northern region’s next project will be the opening of 10 houses in Kerikeri.
They also have a larger community development breaking ground in the next couple of weeks. The new development will be for 23 homes on Maunu Rd.
Habitat for Humanity is a community housing provider. They work alongside the MHUD to provide secure rental tenures for those who are on housing waitlists or experiencing housing deprivation.
It has been delivering community housing to Whangārei since 1994.