Putting families on road to housing independence

13 NOV, 2018

This is the fifth in a series of articles created with help from Tāmaki Regeneration Company. There's a novel form of shared equity which will help some families to bridge Auckland's housing affordability gap and own a new home in the Tāmaki regeneration project.

Hine-A-Rangi Perry and Willy Savieti peer through the fencing at what will soon be their new home in the Tāmaki Regeneration Company’s flagship Fenchurch development in Glen Innes. The gib still needs to be fixed and painted and the fittings installed, but they can see now that their dream of home ownership is tantalisingly close.

In early 2019, they will move into their two-bedroom town house – a move that will have come both considerably earlier and a bit later than they’d hoped.

The couple had a five-year plan to get out of debt, save a deposit and claw their way onto an Auckland housing ladder on which it has become increasingly tough to secure a foothold.

In 2016, that plan accelerated rapidly when, by chance, Hine noticed a poster for a financial literacy course on the wall of the TRC’s Panmure offices.

For Hine and Willy, the six-week Pathway to Housing Independence (PHI) programme would provide a route to the New Zealand Housing Foundation’s shared ownership scheme – a product designed as a bridge over an otherwise impassable chasm from renting a home to buying one.

The mechanism is simple enough: The Housing Foundation puts up the cash – to buy a chunk of Willy and Hine’s home, bringing the deposit and mortgage payments required down to a level they can afford. To qualify, applicants must have a Tāmaki connection and their income must be under $100,000 – and they must buy back the Housing Foundation’s stake in their home within 15 years.

It’s a daunting prospect, but they’re up for the challenge. And, with shared ownership schemes such as the Housing Foundation’s and another offered by TRC, (which is very closely based on the Housing Foundation’s model), vastly over-subscribed, Hine and Willy know they are among the fortunate few.

“We are so, so lucky,” says Willy. “It opened the door for us.”

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