Individuals served in FY20: 4,060
- Through new construction –120
- Through rehab –3,940
Volunteers engaged in FY20: 3,418
- Capital: Wellington
- Population: 5 million
- Life expectancy: 80 years
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
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 has been ranked as amongst the most unaffordable in the world according to international surveys. Over the past decade house prices have more than doubled and median house prices increased 19.3% from January 2020 to January 2021, according to data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Home ownership rates are at their lowest in almost 70 years with 65% of people owning their own home, according to 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 are wide-reaching with health, education, wellbeing and employment being adversely affected by this complex issue.
How Habitat addresses need in New Zealand
Active since 1993, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand now has eight affiliate offices, a National Support Centre in Auckland and a network of 20 ReStores around the country. We partner with families through a range of housing programs domestically and internationally, particularly in the Pacific. Habitat works with volunteers, corporations, government, nongovernmental organizations and donors to build better lives through housing.
Progressive Home Ownership
Habitat partners with families through the Progressive Home Ownership program. This currently involves 215 families who are on the pathway to owning their own homes. In 2019, Habitat and three other local charities lobbied the government to provide additional funding to the scheme. This led to 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. With the support of the New Zealand government, in 2020 Habitat began partnering with 33 families to kick-start their home ownership journey.
Building impact together
Habitat works with its affiliates to be a catalyst for community impact and improves housing conditions through providing housing support and construction services to families in need. In the financial year 2020, Habitat partnered with families to repair 1,327 homes, assisted another 107 families towards home ownership and supported 17 families to complete the purchase of their homes.
Funding through ReStores
Proceeds raised through Habitat’s ReStores provide crucial funds for local housing adequacy programs which may include initiatives such as improving ventilation, stopping draught, fixing weathertightness, temporary window insulation, putting up curtains and installing ramps or heat pumps.
Over the next five years Habitat will reach 55 communities in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, and involve around 30,000 people at the community level through training in the Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness and Build Back Safer program. Through strengthening the sector, by addressing housing finance, raising awareness and influencing at a societal level, many more people in the three countries will benefit. Habitat has ongoing responses to COVID-19, Tropical Cyclone Harold and Tropical Cyclone Yasa. Our disaster responses build on Habitat’s Pathways to Permanence approach and support households into long-term secure and safe housing.