As Pasifika families in New Zealand struggle to own their own home, the Government is looking at innovative policies around shared ownership.
At a Habitat for Humanity housing forum for Pacific people, Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa said home ownership used to be closer to 50 per cent but now it was only 18.5 per cent.
She said Pasifika find it hard to get a mortgage as banks don’t usually consider the traditional island household where there could be up to six earners living in the same house
"We're currently looking at policies in this area - rent to own as well as equity how do we ensure that there are equity shares of houses," she said.
Habitat for Humanity's CEO Claire Szabo says her organisation has built around 500 homes in New Zealand and buy in from the community has meant those involved help complete the project and maintain their homes.
But she says there remains many challenges for Pasifika.
One family who is hoping to get a roof over their head is the Milovale family.
The family of ten lost their Housing NZ home and everything in it to fire earlier this week including all items belonging to Reta Milovale's mother who died just two weeks ago.
"We've only been in here for three months but this is the house my mother had her last breath in - she had passed away on the 1st of May and we put her to rest on the 8th may and then Sunday this happened on Mother's Day," she said
The family are temporarily staying in a south Auckland motel - finding a home big enough for them is challenging but owning their own is an unobtainable dream.
"We worked hard for everything we had in there and to try and get a house we can call ours is kind of tough, we didn't come from wealthy families," Ray Milovale told 1 News.
While finding the situation overwhelming, today they got some relief from Mangere Budgeting Services Trust.
CEO Darryl Evans presented the family with over $1000 worth of grocery and petrol vouchers and a van load of food, clothing and toys.
"You have been through a really awful time, we just hope it brings you a little sunshine," he said.
Mangere Budgeting is promising to work alongside the family in the months ahead providing whatever support they need.
The Milovale’s says they are extremely grateful for the help and while their first priority is finding a home their long term goal is to own one.
A Givealittle page has been set up for the Milovale family and is available here.