Habitat asks for offsetting grant

wants the city to reimburse the organization for some of the costs of a build more than two years ago

Habitat for Humanity wants the city to reimburse the organization for some of the costs of a build more than two years ago.

Deb Roth, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North, said typically after homes are built in a community, the municipality helps pay some of the bill.

Roth told council Tuesday night she hopes the city can help offset some of the costs Habitat for Humanity incurred when it built a duplex on Maple Road in the spring of 2009.

“Including the DCC’s (Development Cost Charges), we paid $17,718.32 to the City of Campbell River,” Roth said in a letter to council. “I realize there isn’t much you can do to spare us the DCC’s, but we are hoping that you would consider a donation to offset fees paid in the construction of the Maple Road duplex. This would be in line with what has been done on previous builds in other communities.”

Coun. Mary Storry questioned why Habitat for Humanity asked for help so long after the build.

“Certainly the community is glad to support you,” Storry said. “The (money) you’re looking for, do you usually ask for that in the beginning or was this a surprise? How did it come about that you’re asking for money back?”

Roth said it was just a matter of routine.

“Our previous experience with builds in the Comox Valley was that we partnered with the city and as we paid the bills they came back to us and said they could probably help with giving some of it back,” Roth said.

Mayor Walter Jakeway said Habitat for Humanity is near and dear to his heart and committed to finding a way to help the non-profit out.

“I’m personally going to try to make it happen, I have a soft spot for Habitat for Humanity,” Jakeway said. “I’ll commit that over the next month I’m going to try to find a way. The work that Habitat does is huge.”

Two local families have benefited from the one and only build in Campbell River. Each family owns a side of the duplex and pays property taxes. Roughly 400 people volunteered their time and materials for the build.

Habitat is eager to build more homes in the community.

“Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North would like to extend an invitation for the City of Campbell River to partner with us once again to build safe, decent, affordable homes,” said Jenna Nichol, chair of the Campbell River site selection committee, in September. “It is our hope that the City of Campbell River would consider providing an appropriate piece of property for us to continue to build affordable housing in this community.”

Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to the elimination of poverty by building homes in partnership with families in need.

The purpose of the society is to provide simple, decent, affordable housing to those who would not qualify for or be able to afford a conventional mortgage.

Habitat for Humanity selects families for homes based on the adequacy of a family’s current home and a family’s income.