Two Campbell River families will receive keys to their new Habitat homes this weekend.
The residents will take part in an invite-only key ceremony and are expected to move into their new duplex shortly after.
Pat McKenna, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North, said one of the duplexes, which are part of the city’s latest – and largest ever – build, are nearly ready for the new homeowners.
“Our 477 Hilchey project is well underway and two families are ready to take up residence in the subdivision,” McKenna said.
Moving into one side of the duplex is Amy and Stefan Odowichuk and their two children, Gavin and Ashli, while taking up residence on the other side is Bobbi Frederick and her two youngest children, Thea and Skye.
The two families are just the first of several who will become recipients of brand-new Habitat homes over the next few years.
Habitat for Humanity is in the midst of its fourth build in Campbell River and it consists of 11 units – four duplexes and one triplex.
McKenna told city council at its Oct. 10 meeting that “multiple families” have already been selected for the new homes which are getting closer and closer to reality.
“The next foundations will be poured in late 2017 or early 2018 as we are currently working with city staff to ensure registration of the subdivision to continue building and serving families on the North Island,” he said.
This most recent build is the fourth for Habitat for Humanity in Campbell River, following the success of duplexes built by volunteers on Maple Street, another on Hilchey and on Dalton Road. All totaled, the homes have provided home ownership for six local families. The newest project brings that total to 17 families.
Mayor Andy Adams said Campbell River has been fortunate to have Habitat actively building in the community.
“It’s a pleasure to have you bring these types of affordable housing opportunities to Campbell River,” said Adams, who noted that the City of Campbell River has had a “successful partnership” with Habitat in helping to donate land to the non-profit whenever possible.
To that end, McKenna asked council to continue to keep Habitat in mind when it comes to city surplus properties.
“We’re here tonight to ask the City of Campbell River and council to consider Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North to be a recipient of city-owned surplus lands and to continue our mission of building affordable communities within Campbell River,” McKenna said during his presentation to council last week.
“Affordable home ownership helps break the cycle of poverty and it’s a path for Canadians into the middle class,” McKenna added. “Further, our program helps free up much-needed units in rental and social housing and helps move Habitat families into traditional market housing.”
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families that otherwise could not afford a mortgage. Habitat homeowners make monthly loan payments that are based on approximately 30 per cent of their gross monthly household income.
Owners must also put in 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ which typically consists of volunteering to help build their home.