Huma finds a safe space in her Sunshine PassivHaus

Huma Nazukmir moved into her new Baptcare PassivHaus home with her family in May 2023.

“I really like this house,” Huma says. “We were so happy to move in. It is close to the doctor, the train station, the bus stop.

“My youngest child is five and his kindergarten is just down the street. There are lots of places for him to play.”

Baptcare Affordable Housing’s development in Sunshine includes eight PassivHauses. This is the first PassivHaus-designed social/affordable housing in Australia.

These dwellings meet international PassivHaus standards for airtightness, thermal insulation, ventilation, use of high-performance windows and doors and thermal bridge-free construction.

“It feels a little bit different living in a PassivHaus,” Huma said. “On cold nights I think the house stays warmer. When you open the sliding doors (to the rear yard) you can feel how heavy they are. It makes the house quieter.”

Huma started life in Kabul, Afghanistan, in difficult family circumstances. The Soviet-Afghan war, civil wars and in particular the rise of the Taliban made life intolerable.

After enduring many hardships in her native country and Pakistan where she fled to escape the Taliban, Huma is grateful for a secure home and the opportunity for her children to start a new life.

As the single parent of six children, most of them living at home, Huma needs all of the four bedrooms in her PassivHaus.

As she speaks her 17-year-old daughter Seema, an aspiring chef, is planning dinner of chicken biryani and pumpkin hawala, which she cooks in the well-designed kitchen.

“Every time we go outside there is fresh air, green grass, flowers and it’s very nice,” Huma says. “My children’s future here is very good.

“In Australia there is women’s rights. Women can work, can have a house. And when I go upstairs to my own bedroom and close the door I have my own space, and that is good.”

Baptcare Affordable Housing has invested in building highly energy efficient dwellings as a response to studies showing that soaring energy prices are a huge burden for many renters, especially in social and affordable housing.

To help Baptcare continue providing critical housing support where it is needed most, please donate here.