Palmerston North social enterprise builds $2.5 million worth of Homes for People in its first year

A Palmerston North programme that created 11 affordable houses in its first year has almost twice as many homes on the drawing board for next year.

Homes for People has marked its first anniversary, celebrating providing housing collectively worth $2.5 million for people on lower incomes to buy. The social enterprise has 21 homes planned for next year.

It has already helped dozens of people – like Alesha Thomson, who will move into the Wakefield St development when it’s completed in six weeks.

Thomson said it was hard to express what it meant to her – after years of anxiety and uncertainty stuck on ACC, she had started to lose hope of ever having her own home.

“It feels like I can exhale for the first time in a long time.”

Thomson has held her breath, waiting for her life to resume, for two years. The 36-year-old was living in Auckland, and closing in on saving up enough to buy a house, when complications from back surgery put her on ACC, unable to work.

She moved to Palmerston North to restart her life, and to find a new job once her doctors cleared her for work – although that wouldn’t be until 2019 at the earliest, she said.

“I moved down here specifically to get a house. Then I realised I couldn’t do it, even here.”

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Source: Stuff