In late 2019, Habitat for Humanity Nelson had outgrown their current premises and were on the search for a new home to lease.
Just before Christmas the group visited a large community building in Nelson that had been up for lease and mostly empty for two years. While visiting the site, the real estate agent suggested the owners were actually considering selling and sent through the paperwork the following day. Not long after, the board agreed to make an offer.
“It wouldn’t have happened without Christian Savings’ support,” says Nick Clarke, General Manager, Habitat for Humanity Nelson. “The process was really good, and the level of support was excellent. In what had to be challenging circumstances navigating COVID, making a decision to back us speaks volumes.”
Habitat Nelson first got in touch with Christian Savings early 2020, through some church and community development connections. “It’s fantastic to have you guys journey with us so closely.”
During Level 4 lockdown, Christian Savings had to slow down a small selection of lending transactions to ensure that they could still proceed when lockdown conditions were eased. “Everything went really smoothly, when things were on hold... Everyone was really understanding. What was interesting is that although it did stall us and pushed the agreement out a little, we were still able to settle on the original date signed in January!”
Habitat’s new home has room for their offices and ReStore shop to grow, along with room for more tenants to join them. The group’s intent is to create a community hub focused on promoting community wellbeing and affordable housing initiatives.
“As a faith-based organisation and working with Christian Savings—with everything that’s happened, it’s a big God story. There’s real privilege in that, being able to steward that asset appropriately to create positive ripples across the community, it leverages others coming in; that’s how the hub thing developed.”
For the past few months Habitat has even had the support of the District Health Board using the space as a COVID testing centre, which has been a great help to cover the mortgage.
Work has begun on Hub renovations to make the space suitable for its new tenants!