Habitat for Humanity VIN wins national award for innovative approach to building

Courtenay and Campbell River builds represent 400 per cent growth in historical annual average

Another year, another national award for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN).

On May 22, 2020 Habitat for Humanity Canada held its virtual annual general meeting, which included celebrating the achievements of local Habitats. Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) was one of 10 Canadian Habitat affiliates recognized with a national award. They received the Housing Innovation Award for employing new, improved and innovative cost-effective construction technologies.

Receiving awards at the national AGM is nothing new for Habitat VIN.

In 2017, Habitat VIN picked up a pair of awards at the national AGM – for leadership, and engagement.

RELATED: Habitat VIN a double award winner at AGM

In 2018, the organization was recognized with the Sustainable Funding Award for its partnership with the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness.

READ ALSO: Habitat VIN receives national award for collaboration with Comox Valley agency

At the 2019 national AGM, Habitat picked up the Epic Engagement Award, for brand building.

RELATED: Habitat VIN wins Epic Engagement Award

This latest award recognizes the local group for its multi-family builds in Courtenay and Campbell River.

In 2019, Habitat VIN built homes in partnership with eight families, a 400 per cent growth from its historical average. In the past, Habitat VIN typically built one building at a time, usually a duplex, in one community at a time. Now Habitat plans and builds multi-unit subdivisions.

The current projects, both of which are targeted for completion by the end of 2020, include a 10-unit development on 1330 Lake Trail Road in Courtenay and an 11-unit development on 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River.

Thinking differently about the roles of Habitat staff, contractors, and volunteers also contributed to Habitat VIN’s increased capacity to build.

“Leveraging skilled trades frees up our qualified staff to build volunteer capacity through training and mentoring,” explained Logan Ronhovde, Habitat VIN’s project manager. “By honing our volunteers’ skills and partnering with local contractors, we can serve more families faster. Volunteerism, partnership, and community-building remain the heartbeat of Habitat; finding ways to deepen each team member’s impact has been the key to our growth.”

The Housing Innovation Award was also awarded in recognition of Habitat VIN’s commitment to sustainable building, something they owe to the guidance and support of their many community partners, including The Canadian Home Builders Association, Nelson Roofing, Zsiros Construction, Island AeroBarrier, and SIGA. The non-profit credits Elemental Energy Advisors for helping them develop a volunteer-tailored build approach that consistently meets the BC Building Code Energy STEP 3, and recently achieved building envelope airtightness consistent with STEP Code 5.

Sustainable building doesn’t only have an environmental impact, it contributes to Habitat’s mission by helping homeowner families build financial stability.

“Constructing these homes with greater energy efficiency decreases long term operating and maintenance costs, providing our homeowners savings month-on-month, year-on-year for the life of the home,” said Ronhovde.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s current projects and upcoming plans, visit habitatnorthisland.com.

–with files from Habitat VIN

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