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New Zealand

Courage and perseverance make small house dreams come true

Five years ago, Cindy Elder had a bold plan. That’s about to become a reality now, as construction on her affordable tiny home will begin soon.

When the Daily Encoder interviewed the Dunedin mother in November 2021, her past experiences of being homeless and living in emergency shelters inspired her.

She founded the Able Abodes company to provide homes for people in similar situations.

Since then, the plans have changed and made significant progress. It is in honor of her courage and perseverance that we have assembled a team of qualified personnel from within the construction industry.

Our skilled team consists of knowledgeable managers, architects, electricians, joiners, builders and plumbers. They will help build his 40-square-meter low-carbon home in a construction yard on Kaalika Valley Road.

The first house will be sold to raise funds for her project. That means building community-based housing developments and selling them to those who are suffering from hardship and remain on the waiting list for housing.

Cyndee’s dream team was born with the help of the internet.

“I literally just looked it up on Google.”

He later told her that the Dunedin merchant to whom she first wrote was a joiner, but that her messages were so haphazard that he rarely responded.

This joinery introduced her to the architect and colleagues.

And before I knew it, I had the most amazing team!”

In 2021, 12th graders from Kaequali Valley College helped Cindy design a home.

“The team helped preserve the original moral and material concepts provided by the Kaalai Valley students at the beginning of their journey while turning them into something great,” she says.

Construction of the 6x9m Able Abode will soon begin in Dunedin.Image: Residential architectural design

construction plan

Ideally, Cyndee wants to get to the point where she builds two homes, stores two, and furnishes both at the same time.

The 6 x 9 m house is made of structurally insulated panel shells and features high quality ventilation, data and heating systems. It can be installed anywhere in New Zealand and all materials are locally sourced.

The residences are moveable, but we want people to be able to stay and own them for the long term, rather than temporary.

“This will last as long as your home.”

Each house has one bedroom, a bathroom and laundry, a standard kitchen with appliances, and a living space with indoor and outdoor access to the deck.

Cyndee also wants to accommodate people with disabilities, with standard and accessible options in the kitchen and bathroom.

The accessible bathroom had a wet floor and a bench, and she tried to avoid it looking clinically like a hospital.

She has worked hard to create homely rooms for people with special requirements.

“Everyone should feel free at home,” she said, adding that we all have some kind of disability.

Able Abode costs from $279,000 including GST.

Inside Able Abode, a 40-square-meter affordable home soon to be built in Dunedin.
Image: Residential Architectural Design

seeking a contract with the landlord

Cindy has begun seeking deals with landlords who will bundle the homes as workers’ accommodation, aged care homes or public housing.

She says the previous moral notion of building homes in community villages on unused land and renting them out to those in need is not immediately feasible.

Able Abodes needs a steady income, and once the house is sold, he plans to buy land and build the first housing community for those in need.

“We have to be careful not to rush too much.”

Cindy realized that in the beginning, criticizing the government and expecting the bureaucracy to move quickly, she might have been a little too bullish and naive. What she knows now she didn’t know then.

“It’s about growth and understanding. Mistakes are necessary – how else do we learn?

“It allowed me to go out and do what I could and put my words into action.”

The design of her residence and the development of a detailed business plan were very interesting.

It feels like watching a child grow up. ”

Cyndee now has a product, a structured business, and a qualified team, but she hasn’t forgotten her original inspiration or plans, or those who struggled just like her.

She stopped receiving sole parental benefits and was participating in the Ministry of Social Development’s flexible wage employment assistance program, which includes small business subsidies.

“And now it’s officially me – no profit.

“The next thing to do is move out of the state capitol and into a warm, dry place of your own.”

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For more information:

Able Ahaus website and Facebook

our previous story About Cindy

https://dailyencourager.co.nz/pluck-and-perseverance-realises-small-housing-dream/ Courage and perseverance make small house dreams come true

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