Maddy was living in a sleepout on her parents’ property when her first child, Luca, was born in 2017 and she quickly learned it wasn’t the ideal set-up for raising a baby.

“Being at home with the support of my family was great but the functionality and size of the sleepout we were in made raising a newborn challenging.

“I was also studying to become a nurse, which was stressful enough, so I decided that I needed to find my own space and learnt I was eligible for public housing,’’ says Maddy, who was offered a Kāinga Ora house in Mosgiel, which she moved into in late 2017.

“I was so grateful to my parents for allowing me to stay with them, but I was even more grateful to finally have my own space.

“Our Kāinga Ora home made raising Luca easier and gave me the space I needed to finish my studies and set us up for a positive future together.’’

In 2021, with her studies completed, Maddy set her sights on beginning her nursing career and got a job in Dunedin Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“I wanted to be a nurse from a young age and being able to work in NICU, helping bring new babies into the world, really is a dream come true,” says Maddy.

With a second child on the way, Maddy’s focus then turned to buying a home of her own for her family to grow in.

Not knowing where to start or whether she had the financial means to buy a home, Maddy sat down with a mortgage broker to see what was possible.

“That conversation opened my eyes to what was available as a potential first home buyer. I was surprised to learn of the financial boosts you can get to help you onto the property ladder.

“I was able to get a First Home Grant that boosted my deposit and meant I could get a First Home Loan that only needed a 5% deposit.’’

After her second child Beau was born and with her finances sorted, in October 2023 Maddy was able to buy a 4-bedroom home in Caversham, Dunedin that came with superb views of the city.

“We’ve settled into the neighbourhood nicely and are loving the views from our deck. It’s great to be in a suburb so close shops and the central city as well.

“Being able to make this place feel like a home has been a nice bonus of home ownership too – I hang photos and art and don’t have to worry about holes in the wall now!

“Both the grant and the First Home Loan are available through Kāinga Ora so it’s cool to look back on my journey from being a Kāinga Ora customer to now, with their help, owning my own home and being able to provide a stable future for my kids,” Maddy says.

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Page updated: 5 March 2024