Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Family realise dream to own their home thanks to shared ownership scheme

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John Pulu | Presenter/ Reporter/Director

Tāmaki Regeneration company helps make  home ownership affordable for Pasifika families. 

After years of renting and staying with relatives, Mele and her husband Samisoni Havili are now on the property ladder.

“It’s been a transformational journey for us to own our own home,” Mele says. 

“So stepping into our place is like, you know,  feel like you belong and we have a connection to the whenua and be part of Aotearoa,” Mele says.

East Auckland is now their home sweet home but the journey to homeownership seemed unaffordable for the young parents.

“The life during that time was really hard cos you know being the only person to work and provide for the family plus the rental was a bit too expensive for us at the time,” Samisoni says.

So, their pathway to home ownership began in 2020 during the lockdown when they took part in an online programme by the Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC) known as ‘Own It’.

TRC’s  mandate is to replace some 2,500 state houses in the Glen Innes, Panmure and Point England area with warm, high-quality homes, some of which are to be returned as social housing.

From two-bedroom apartments to large standalone homes, the Own It programme is helping to unlock the hurdles of home buying – a model Afoa Tevita Malolo of TRC says works for families.

“The whānau will come up with 70% of the value of the home; that includes the mortgage and potentially some savings they’ve got either through kiwi saver or through personal saving and then they come to us and say yep, we’ve got our bit and we say well we got our bit which is the house and we’ll hold on to the other 30% and give them 20-year period to pay us out,” Malolo says.

Auckland city councillor and local resident Josephine Bartley also signed up for the programme because she is keen to remain in the neighbourhood.

“We know that with our families, [it’s] very hard to have any capital or deposit to get you on the first stage of buying a home,” she says.

“So you really need programmes that understand that and cater to it. We have good income coming in, it’s just nobody’s got $50,000 and ready to go, so I see the benefit of what Tāmaki Regeneration are doing and I just hope we continue to cater it to the reality of our families.”

Since 2017 more than 90 families on the Own It programme have been able to own their own home with many more homeowners on the way. The Havili family hope many more will be able to follow them.

“Don’t be scared to look for help,” Samisoni says. 

“If we can do it, anyone can do it.”

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