Habitat for Humanity is looking for homeowners as it prepares for its next Campbell River build.
The organization is recruiting two families to fill a new duplex it intends to build on the corner of Dalton and Westgate roads, starting next spring.
Habitat is holding an information session on Oct. 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Centre.
Karen Bezaire, communications and marketing for Habitat Vancouver Island North, said the meeting is aimed at people looking to get out of the rental system.
“Even if anybody thinks ‘I don’t qualify,’ come anyway,” Bezaire said. “We all know a family who’s struggling, we all know a single mother who’s struggling, just encourage them to come.”
Bezaire said the homes are all about providing affordable housing to those who would typically not qualify for, or be able to afford, a conventional mortgage. Bezaire said she doesn’t want people to shy away from the information session because they’re afraid of appearing vulnerable.
“Hopefully it won’t be a pride thing, that they don’t think, ‘I don’t need help, I work full time,’” Bezaire said. “We want to break down that barrier and have people think ‘I can always use a hand up.’ It’s not a hand out, we want to be able to help provide you with a home and give you some equity and have your children be able to paint their room.”
Bezaire said the rental system nowadays can be more expensive than paying a mortgage.
“Rent for a family home these days can be $1,500 a month,” she said. “I don’t know how single moms do it.”
The property Habitat will build on is a former park site that was donated to Habitat by the City of Campbell River in early 2014. The property is valued at $95,200.
“We’re so happy to finally be able to build on it,” Bezaire said. “It’s great to have land donated. It feels like it’s really supported by the community and the city when it’s donated. So we’re expecting all of the city officials out there helping us build.”
The homes, which will begin construction in March or April of 2016, will be the third Habitat housing project in Campbell River.
A duplex on Maple Street was built by Habitat volunteers on city-donated land in 2007 and a second build was completed earlier this year on Hilchey Road.
The homes come with a mortgage that is based on 30 per cent of the family’s income but the mortgage is interest free. Homeowners also must put in 500 hours of sweat equity – which typically involves helping to build their own home.
To be eligible for a home, families must have at least one child under the age of 18, and have a regular income that is not Employment Insurance or Income Assistance.
Bezaire said Habitat is always looking for fresh volunteers and anyone who would like to volunteer is encouraged to contact Habitat at 250-334-3777 or visit www.habitatnorthisland.com