State home set for family living in garage

Mum pleased with new space

TIM FULTON
Last updated 15:40 11/08/2014
Filipino mum and children
Joseph Johnson
HOME SWEET HOME: The new house features trees out front and a fenced yard out the back.

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Life in a converted garage is almost over for a Christchurch mum and her young sons.

The Filipino-born woman and her two boys, who featured in The Press last week, hope to be in a state home by the end of the month.

Today, she made a second visit to the Housing New Zealand flat promised to them.

Moving in will mean an end to months on the waiting list.

It will also mean warmth and more space for the two-year-old to play and for her 11-day-old infant to sleep.

The baby has spent his nights squeezed up against his mother and brother's shared bed.

The elder sibling itched to move, his mother said.

He had playgroup three times a week, music and movement and reading.

"He's a busy boy. He always goes out and rides a bus," she said.

The woman, a New Zealand resident whose identity The Press agreed not to disclose for safety reasons, receives $370 a week from Work and Income, out of which she pays $170 a week to rent a converted, double-bay garage.

She had been told she would pay less than $170 for the Housing New Zealand flat, but expected Work and Income would reduce its assistance accordingly.

She could not drive because of her recent caesarean section, so was pleased her new home was closer to friends and other support.

"It's brick. In front there's a river, same at the back. The place is quiet," the woman said.

The family will have at least two neighbourhood cats for company, trees out front, their own driveway and a fenced yard out the back.

The current tenants will vacate on August 22.

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- The Press

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