After 20 years of renting, this family finally has a permanent place to call home.
After 20 years jumping between rental properties and fighting to provide a home for her three sons, single mum Nicole has been handed the keys to her own home with the help of Habitat for Humanity Victoria.
As a single mum to three kids, housing had always been a tough topic for Nicole. In the last 20 years, the family have moved 18 times and been at the mercy of home owners and the rental system.
The cost of moving so frequently made it impossible to save a deposit for a home, and loan applications were continuously refused. House and land package options required repayments that were simply unreachable on a single income.
Raising her three sons, two of whom have high-functioning autism, Nicole sometimes found it difficult to keep the utilities connected and food on the table. There were times when the lack of affordable housing options forced the family into rental properties ‘that the health department would have burned to the ground’.
In their new Habitat for Humanity home, Nicole says it will be the small things that will make the big difference.
‘I’m excited to hang pictures on the wall and plant a garden that I will actually be able to see grow up. You lose motivation to after you move so many times and have to re-plant so many times’, says Nicole.
Nicole grew up in Yea and is looking forward to re-engaging with her community. She says it is a ‘great place to grow up’, and the opportunity to return represents a chance for her boys to change their fortunes and futures.
Nicole’s 12-year-old son Noah has aspirations to go fishing and is looking forward to becoming part of a small, safe community.
‘It’s a life changing opportunity’, says Nicole, ‘It’s going to be so nice to walk into a house and be able to call it home’.
Take a virtual tour of Nicole's house and see some moments from the House Handover below.