This conceptual drawing shows what the next Habitat for Humanity duplex will look like

Habitat homes to go before a public hearing

A rezoning to facilitate a new Habitat for Humanity home will go before a public hearing.

Habitat needs the rezoning in order to accommodate development of a duplex on the corner of Dalton and Westgate Roads – an area which is made up of predominantly single-family homes.

The property up for rezoning was donated to Habitat by city council which approved first and second reading of the rezoning at its Dec. 14 council meeting. Those readings triggered the next phase – the public hearing to be held sometime in the early new year.

Peter Sanderson, build coordinator, said Habitat has already selected two families for the new homes – a family of three and a family of five.

“The Westgate property will be our third duplex and will give two more families a hand up,” Sanderson said.

Past Habitat builds include a duplex on Maple Street and one on Hilchey which was constructed earlier this year.

The new homes on Westgate will be two storeys tall and each unit will be 1,150 square feet in size.

Each side of the duplex will have three bedrooms.

Sanderson said the homes, like all of Habitat’s builds, are energy efficient and environmentally sensitive.

“We use a combination of vinyl siding, timber and painted trim to bring interest and character to a corner that is now an unused fenced former park,” Sanderson said of the Westgate property. “This location is particularly convenient as it is within distance of the local community. Active families will make a positive contribution to the neighbourhood.”

And speaking of contribution, Sanderson was quick to point out that the two families who will move into the duplex are not being given a home for free.

In return, the families have to put in 500 hours of sweat equity and are then given an affordable, interest-free loan with no down payment.

Monthly payments towards that loan are based on approximately 30 per cent of gross monthly household income.

Families are selected for the homes based on housing need, ability to pay a mortgage and willingness to partner with Habitat.

Sanderson said construction on the Westgate duplex is expected to begin in March so Habitat can dedicate the new homes to the two families in June.