Habitat home repair gets a $1 million boost

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Habitat for Humanity’s essential home repair work for low and moderate income families has received an unprecedented boost of $1 million from the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ).

Habitat for Humanity Auckland general manager Conrad LaPointe says the charity had looked at ways to help more home owners access essential repair work when the BNZ responded with a $1 million interest-free credit line.

Mr LaPointe says with more than 200 repairs completed during the past year in the North Island, the credit line was critical to help Habitat meet increasing demand.

Habitat undertakes all trades work, and home owners pay Habitat back at no interest over up to five years.

“We have seen incredible growth in this area of helping whanau achieve a decent place to live through making necessary and critical repairs to their own homes,” Mr Lapointe says.

The programme’s focus is on weathertightness, structural elements, plumbing and electricity, heating and accessibility. Mr Lapointe says this work “ranges from disability access ramps to rewiring a home, installing a heat pump or even replacing roofing.”

He adds the repair work helps to “extend and preserve a home’s habitability for the future”.

“Often we are working in a house which is home to the third or fourth generation from the same whanau, and they have a very real need and right to remain living there, despite an obvious need for repair.

“We are very thankful that the BNZ recognises the importance of this work, and has decided to make this facility available for us to help more people achieve and preserve a decent place to live.”

BNZ community finance and sustainability general manager Craig Moffat says the BNZ’s purpose is to help New Zealanders be good with money so they can do great things with it.

“We are committed to making a difference in New Zealand’s financial well-being in real and tangible ways, and we see this partnership with Habitat for Humanity as doing just that,” Mr Moffat says.

“The $1 million interest and fee-free line of credit will mean they have the resources and capital to help deliver these great services to even more New Zealanders, and more quickly.”

Habitat for Humanity home repair is currently available in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, with plans to expand through New Zealand.

More details can be found by visiting Habitat’s web site at www.habitat.org.nz.