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Before getting her own two-bedroom apartment, Riana was living with her mother, brothers and sisters, her sister’s two children and her own two children. Her mum’s three-bedroom home wasn’t big enough for everyone.
“We had mine and my sister’s stuff stored in one room, so my mum and siblings had to sleep in the loungeroom. My sister and her kids had one room and I had the other room with my kids,” Riana says.
She says it was very overcrowded and overwhelming at times. There was no privacy or space.
“My brothers are teenagers, and it was unfair to them to not have their own room.”
With high rents and the high costs of living Riana had no alternative until she was able to move into apartment in Whanganui this year.
Riana loves her new apartment and is enjoying the peace and quiet. She says it has taken away a lot of worry.
Having their own place has made a big difference to her two year old and one year old.
“I really appreciated being able to live at my mum’s place, it was great but also very disruptive for the kids. They have calmed down a lot. It has been easier for me to get them into a routine.”
Riana loves the layout of the apartment. She says it is very helpful that the apartment is close to shops and services.
“We are smack in the middle of town, so I am close to the supermarket and shops.”
“The apartment is fairly new but had been refurbished with a new oven. It is clean and looks like a new house.”
She appreciates the support of Renee and Home inPlace New Zealand staff members.
“Renee is lovely – she is easy to contact and gets the job done.”
Riana says being able to access community housing is really important for her and many others.
“When you don’t have a place of your own it makes life harder than it needs to be. It just puts people under a lot of pressure when they don’t need it.”