A Hamilton family of seven will not face the chill of another winter in a cold, damp basement having recently moved into a modern five- bedroom Housing New Zealand home.
Housing New Zealand Tenancy Manager Claudine heard about Anita and her family’s situation when she was contacted via Raukura Hauora O Tainui. This is a Tainui-run health and wellbeing services clinic which is part of Strengthening Families, a wrap around support service for families in need.
"The team at Strengthening Families had grave concerns for the family’s health and wellbeing and reached out to Housing New Zealand to find them a home," says Claudine.
"How they were living was terrible. Seven people were living in a relative’s small one-room basement, which was basically a damp concrete bunker with no shower. Mattresses were laid directly on the floor and in winter it was freezing.
"Both the father, elderly uncle and children had serious health issues. I just knew this family would struggle to endure another winter in those conditions.
"They are a lovely family and I felt for them. They needed our help to look for a home for them."
Claudine quickly got in contact with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and realised the family were not rated highly enough on the register to secure a home immediately.
She then worked closely with the family and MSD to get the family reassessed.
"We had to do something to get this family housed. This was not easy as there is a serious shortage of homes in the area. But through hard work and persistance we were able to offer Anita and her family a five-bedroom home."
Anita and her family were so grateful that they asked Claudine, the team from Strengthening Families and Raukura Hauora O Tainui to a special lunch at their new home.
Now settled into her new home, Anita is enjoying not having to worry about spending another winter in the cold.
"I am so happy that we are living in a warm and dry home, and this year I am not stressing about winter approaching," she says.