A new programme helping 1200 Pacific households on their journey to home ownership has been launched by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples funded Te Ara Ahunga Ora $2.64 million to develop the Sorted Pacific Peoples Pathways to Home Ownership programme in response to the growing housing needs of Pacific people in Aotearoa.
With only 21% of Pacific peoples owning their own home or holding it in a family trust, Sorted Pacific Peoples Pathways to Home Ownership programme aims to increase this number.
Te Ara Ahunga Ora has designed the programme and engaged Skills Update Training and Education Group to facilitate it over the next three years. Skills Update are experienced working with and alongside Pacific Peoples and practising cultural safety.
Liline Hewett, Te Ara Ahunga Ora Project Specialist - Pacific says owning your own home has many benefits including creating a greater sense of security, both financial and non-financial, which is what many families are seeking.
“A lot of Pacific Peoples want to own their own home and increase their financial literacy but haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to do it. It’s important to us that this programme teaches these skills but also resonates with Pacific families, and they’re able to connect with it.” she says.
“We’ve developed a free, independent programme specifically for our Pacific Peoples which offers a holistic view of financial capability and how it can support them on their journey towards owning their own home.”
The course covers different home ownership options, how to make a money plan and also be ready for the unexpected.
A pilot held in December 2021 received overwhelmingly positive feedback and had a 100% completion rate by the 31 participants involved. All participants who completed the evaluation agreed that the course was valuable as a pathway into their first homes and that they trusted the programme information, with over 90% strongly agreeing.
Participant Xtina Manuela also agreed, saying, “The facilitators and how they delivered the programme was amazing. Following the programme to date, I can happily say that I have cleared one financial debt of mine. That was through something I heard learned on the course.”
The programme is delivered in small groups of up to 40 people for 16 hours across a week. Demand is already high, with more than 500 expressions of interest since it launched February.
Liline Hewett says, “It’s encouraging that participants enjoy the programme, particularly learning in a Pacific-focused environment that promotes talanoa, and that they action what they have learned.”
The free course is running programmes throughout the year and interested Pacific families can either sign up or get in contact to ask any questions.