Auckland family trades relative’s damp, cold basement for a home of their own

Jan 1, 1970 | News

Proud homeowners Serenity Reti-Huch, back left, her husband Emil Reti-Huch, back right, and their six children ...

Proud homeowners Serenity Reti-Huch, back left, her husband Emil Reti-Huch, back right, and their six children Righteous, Matthias, Roman, Legend, and Legacy.

Emil and Serenity Reti-Huch, who have six children, bought their two-storey, four-bedroom property in Weymouth in October last year with help from the Housing Foundation’s affordable equity scheme.

Their home in the Waimahia Inlet development has an estimated valuation of $625,000 on Homes.co.nz.

READ MORE:
* Government announces $100m plan to fight homelessness
* Experts warn homelessness in Auckland will be worse this winter
* Housing stocktake blames homelessness on drop in state housing
* Forty rough sleepers housed in south Auckland over past 12 months

Emil and Serenity Reti-Huch work full-time as a youth worker and teacher respectively. Their children range in age from 6 to 18.

The couple say they’d been looking for a home since December 2016.

The Waimahia Inlet affordable housing development in Weymouth, south Auckland.

The Waimahia Inlet affordable housing development in Weymouth, south Auckland.

“We didn’t think we could buy a house,” Serenity Reti-Huch says.

“We’ve got six children and live in Auckland. Prices are phenomenal.”

The family were living in a rental property but had to move out when it was sold, she says.

“We had nowhere to live. We were going to go onto the street.

“We couldn’t afford to buy that house. We tried but the price was too high.”

She says they then moved into the basement of a relative’s house in south Auckland.

Emil and Serenity Reti-Huch say they were able to buy their new home by becoming "financially fit" and not splashing out ...

Emil and Serenity Reti-Huch say they were able to buy their new home by becoming “financially fit” and not splashing out on expensive items they didn’t need.

It was cold, damp, mouldy, and had every problem “you could possibly think of”, she says.

“The kids would get sick all the time. We [she and Emil] would sleep in the dining area.

“We had one shower and one toilet between the eight of us. We were there for nearly four years.

“When the Housing Foundation came along it was surreal.”

Reti-Huch says she heard about the organisation from one of her students.

She discussed it with her husband and they applied to become one of the foundation’s partner families.

They had to get “financially fit” before buying a house, she says.

“We saved money and cut back on a whole lot of things.

“We just had to go without things and we were really diligent.

“Emil said a year prior [to buying their home], ‘I just want a house for my children’.

“A year later they [the foundation] gave us an opportunity to do just that.”

Emil Reti-Huch says the family had to make sacrifices to get where they are today.

Their home contains furniture they bought at bargain prices, including a second hand TV they picked up for $70 and a large dining room table being sold by a hotel, he says.

“We’d had a taste of material things in the past and realised do we really need these things?

“We got our fridge from the Salvation Army for $75. We haven’t got the internet or Sky TV. It’s about being resourceful.”

Serenity Reti-Huch says their home loan repayments are lower than what they would be spending on rent in Auckland.

SHARED EQUITY PARTNERSHIP

The Housing Foundation’s Greg Freeman says the organisation works in a partnership with Māori trust Te Tumu Kāinga and CORT Community Housing.

Families they help need a combined household income of $65,000 to $95,000, he says.

The partnership pays for a house to be built, selects the partner family, and then helps the family get a home loan to buy the property.

“The foundation has limited capital so we can help some of our clients or we can use Te Tumu Kāinga money,” Freeman says.

“The house gets built by the partnership and the builder gets paid.

“Then the property is sold to the family. They go and get a mortgage from the bank and we support them with that.

“Then when they come to settle [on ownership of the property], they’ve got their mortgage and money from the trust.”

Freeman says if a partner family later wants to sell their home, they pay the trust the percentage of the property it owns.

“The trust might have put in 20 per cent, so the family gets the capital gain on their 80 per cent share and the trust gets the capital gain on its 20 per cent.”

Read the story on Stuff here.

Recent articles

Annual Report

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

Strategic Plan

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place 2017

Our Place 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

The Shift Aotearoa conference 2021 issues papers released

Community Housing Aotearoa’s three pre-conference work programmes are kicking off next week with initial zoom meetings in the Narrative Transformation and Housing System Settings streams scheduled for Tuesday 26 January at 10AM and 1PM respectively. Issues papers to...

News

CHA Level 4 Guidance Document 8 September

CHA Level 4 Guidance Document 8 September Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) has put together this document to consolidate information, contacts, resources and advice to help you in your day to day service delivery and decision making. It will be updated as new...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) COVID-19 Update 26 August 2021

Message from CHA's Chief Executive, Productivity Commission Submission - Include Housing in the Terms of Reference, CHA's support for members, sharing ideas and issues, Ministry of Health information and advice, Government support for your organisation, important...

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 30 August 2021

Message from Chief Executive, Support for Members, CHA Regional Event Series, #right2housing - Episode 2, Community Finance named as finalists at Sustainable Business Awards, Feedback sought on draft strategy and planning policy for housing measures, An update on the...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 18 August 2021

Community Housing Aotearoa COVID-19 Update, Message from CHA's Chief Executive, CHA's support for members, Sharing ideas and issues, Ministry of Health information and advice, Government support for your organisation. Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 18...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 16 August 2021

Warm Welcome for CHA's new Chief Executive, CHA Regional Event Series, Masterclass Webinar on Place-based initiatives: Save the Date! Government Reinstates Operating Supplement. On-going Engagement Underway - HRC Framework Guidelines on the #right2housing in Action....

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 3 August 2021

CHA Regional Event Series, Human Rights Commission Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home, Stories of Homelessness: When the Dominoes Start to Fall, Tenancy Management - Code of Practice, In the News, EVENTS, Upcoming Homestar v5 Events. Community Housing...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Te Whakaruruhau Report

The Te Whakaruruhau Report establishes the peak body services to the Homelessness Sector by Te Matapihi he Tirohanga mō te IwiTrust and Community Housing Aotearoa. The report can be found here: Te Whakaruruhau September 2020

Research

Following the money

http://www.buildingbetter.nz/publications/contestable_research_projects/Saville-Smith_2018_following_the_money.pdf

BRANZ research report on ‘exceeding the minimum’ released

This report looks at the question: why don’t landlords choose features that exceed the minimum building standards and what are the enablers to changing this? The aim is to identify the barriers to an improved rental stock and potential solutions to overcome the...

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On