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I have long been an admirer of the philosophy and practicality of Habitat for Humanity’s mission and activities, and I applaud the support they give to many families in our community. 

Habitat for Humanity International had its beginnings as a non-government and non-profit organisation on a commune in Georgia, United States, in the late 1970s.  Habitat has spread to 76 countries and built hundreds of thousands of homes across the world. 

In our region we are fortunate to have a dedicated team led by Nic Green who is the General Manager of Habitat for Humanity, Central North Island.    “Habitat’s overarching vision is of a world where everybody has a decent place to live and it is this vision which underpins our approach in helping people have somewhere warm, safe and dry to call home”, says Nic.

As General Manager, Nic has responsibility for the planning and implementation of the Habitat Housing Programme, ReStore Second Hand Goods Stores, home repair and social rental portfolio in the Central North Island.

As home ownership has become more and more difficult and out of reach for many New Zealanders, Habitat’s progressive ownership programme enables low to medium income households achieve the dream of home ownership.

In January 2020 Habitat will celebrate 25 years of activities in New Zealand.  The Central North Island region is one of the largest affiliates and their local statistics over their first 25 years are impressive:

  • 122 families have been housed through the home ownership programme
  • 100 rental units in the Habitat rental portfolio have been provided for low income families and pensioners
  • 180 homes were repaired last year under the home repairs programme of owner-occupied homes
  • Event builds are undertaken every two years
  • Sponsorship enables homes to be constructed for auction

To determine eligibility, Habitat looks at a family’s circumstances and then decides what programme suits them best.  Home ownership may be an option for medium household income families, while for low income households the rental programme may be more suitable.   For families living in a house in need of repairs to make it habitable, the home repair programme would be a possibility.

 Habitat works with people who want to help themselves, take responsibility and work towards independence. 

The Central North Island has eight Restore shops.  Habitat’s Bryant Road store in Hamilton is extensive, well-stocked with a wide range of quality goods and served by a large number of volunteers.

ReStore shops, as well as generating funds for Habitat’s building programmes, also reduce the amount of used materials sent to overflowing landfills. 

Habitat is grateful for financial support, good quality second-hand goods, gifts of time in the ReStore shops, on a building site or as an international volunteer through the Global Village Programme. 

 

Nic and his supportive team, along with the many helpful volunteers who assist in the large Re-Store shop at the Habitat headquarters at 26 Bryant Road, Te Rapa, are the local face of this international charity which offers hope for families by providing simple, decent and affordable housing.  Their combined efforts are life-changing for many deserving people, and I am deeply grateful to have such a caring and important service in our region.

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