The Casson family miss out on their dream home

By Tema Hemi

Liza and Shanon Casson should be waking up to a view of the Whanganui River every morning in their dream home.  The family had downsized and payed a man $40,000 to build their tiny house, they now claim that man disappeared with their money- and their dreams. 

The Casson family are in despair and without their hard earned savings to purchase their dream home. 

Shannon Casson says, "We were meant to be in our new house and we were meant to have our baby in our new house and that was supposed to be an exciting adventure for us, but that didn't happen."

The Cassons sought after an accomplished builder online and completed a thorough background check on the builder they chose.

Everything checked out to their satisfaction and they fronted the $40,000,00 start-up fee for their tiny house. 

"We wanted to buy a tiny house so we did what everyone else does and we looked through Google.  We loved the tiny house movement so we were like 'that's us. That's our lifestyle'.  My wife is a gypsy at heart.   

"We got into the design process with him he was really good at that.  He kept constant emails and constant phone calls with us right from the beginning until about three or four weeks in and the it started to dwindle down and then we ended up hearing nothing from him."

NZ Police said in a written statement to Te Ao Māori that the person in question was located by police and arrested in early May.  He is currently remanded in custody on a range of dishonesty offences.

The accused went all out with his elaborate scheme, even going as far as staging an open home in Palmerston North which the Cassons viewed and were met by others that played a part in the scam.

"Ultimately we just want our money back and I can't see that ever happening.  I don't know if he has any money.  We eventually sold half of our stuff and stuff is in a container.  We stayed with my brother until my baby was born.".

The total cost for the Casson's tiny house was $110,000 and they were still working on securing a property for their home. 

The Cassons now know the build for their new tiny home never even got started.