Individuals served in FY19: 8,260
- Through rehab –6,115
- Through repairs –2,145
Volunteers engaged in FY19: 5,260
- Capital: Wellington
- Population: 5 million
- Life expectancy: 82 years
- Unemployment rate: 4.2%
- GDP per capita: US$43,746
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand
Active in New Zealand since 1983, Habitat for Humanity has a national support center in Auckland, 11 affiliates and a network of 18 ReStores spread across the North and South Islands. Habitat New Zealand gives families a hand up to improve their housing situation and also supports projects across the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.
The housing need in New Zealand
Housing in New Zealand is among the most unaffordable in the world, with prices more than doubling over the last decade, according to data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Home ownership levels have been declining over the years with 62% of people owning their homes in end-June 2019, based on estimates by Statistics New Zealand. Many families are locked out of the housing market and are sharing poorly insulated and badly maintained rental housing. Families with school-aged children experience chronic instability as they often get pushed out of an area due to rent rises. The effects of unaffordable housing is wide-reaching with health, education, well being and employment all being adversely affected by this complex issue.
How Habitat addresses need in New Zealand
Habitat New Zealand works with volunteers, corporations, nongovernmental organizational partners and donors, and through funds raised via ReStores to enable families to build decent, affordable homes. Through its 11 affiliates, Habitat also provides assistance through the critical home repair program “A Brush With Kindness”, unique activities such as social rentals, reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, group accommodation facilities and partnerships with government agencies.
Safe, affordable housing
Habitat for Humanity has been active in New Zealand since 1993 with eight affiliate offices, a National Support Centre in Auckland and a network of 20 ReStores around the country. Habitat for Humanity partners with families through a range of housing programs domestically and overseas, including ongoing support to Pacific projects in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. By building partnerships with corporations and sector organizations, Habitat continues to advance access to adequate and affordable housing and work toward a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Funding through ReStores
Proceeds raised by Habitat New Zealand’s ReStores help fund domestic housing adequacy programs. Habitat runs a critical home repair program, curtain banks, and unique projects such as social rentals and group accommodation facilities to address local needs. Habitat also partners with families though the Progressive Home Ownership program, which currently has 252 active houses in participation. In 2019, Habitat and three other local charities lobbied the government to provide additional funding to the scheme. This resulted in a substantial investment package and commitment of support from the government to help thousands of Kiwis into their own homes, who would otherwise be locked out of the housing market.
Through Habitat’s Global Village program, New Zealanders can contribute their time, resources and labor to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Volunteers build alongside the community and families in destinations such as Fiji, Vietnam, Nepal, Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Over the next five years Habitat will be helping over 100 communities in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. With an ongoing partnership with the New Zealand government that provides match funding, Habitat promotes sustainable development in the Pacific through the Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness and Build Back Safer training, housing repairs and new builds. Through training in building skills and other programs, Pacific communities are empowered to rebuild safe and resilient shelter.