Johnus Hamstra helps build the duplex he

Habitat to build 11 new homes for Campbell River families

Habitat for Humanity is planning to construct a multi-unit complex for its next Campbell River build

Habitat for Humanity is planning to construct a multi-unit complex for its next Campbell River build.

Pat McKenna, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North, told city council Monday night that the non-profit intends to provide several local families with affordable housing through its next project.

“We were able to purchase a one-acre parcel of land on Hilchey Road, on which we can build 11 units to continue our mission of assisting hard-working families in Campbell River towards homeownership,” McKenna said.

“Eleven homes, starting in March, that will provide strength, stability and self-reliance to mothers and fathers motivated to ensuring a better life for their children.”

The complex will be built in phases over the next three years and consist of four duplexes and one triplex at 477 Hilchey Rd.

It will be the fourth Habitat build in Campbell River, following the success of duplexes built on Maple Street, Hilchey, and most recently, Dalton Road. All totalled, the homes have provided home ownership to six local families.

The newest project will bring that total to 17 families.

McKenna said Habitat, through a family selection process for the Dalton Road build, has already identified three families who will benefit from Habitat’s next project.

Two of those families will move into the first duplex which is expected to undergo construction in March.

“When our development application goes through and when we’re ready to start the second phase, we’re hoping for a late summer, early fall start for the second duplex,” McKenna said.

At that point, Habitat will begin another family selection process to fill the remaining duplexes and the triplex.

The entire complex is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

In the meantime, McKenna said Habitat will continue to work with the city towards future builds.

“We are hopeful that if more donated land becomes available in the City of Campbell River that we will be considered as in the past,” said McKenna, adding that Habitat is encouraged to build in Campbell River because of a strong relationship with the city. “It’s considerably easier to build in Campbell River, the partnership is very strong. So we have turned our attention, quite considerably at the board level as well, to focusing our efforts on building in Campbell River.”

Coun. Michele Babchuk said she’s pleased the city has been able to help out wherever it can, whether it be through waiving development cost charges and servicing fees or by donating land to build on.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic we’re supporting affordable housing and giving people a hand-up, instead of a hand-out,” she said.

Coun. Marlene Wright praised Habitat for the work they do.

“I would like to thank you for a very positive contribution to the community,” she said. “This is a great community and you’ve done a great job.”

Habitat for Humanity undertook its first build in Campbell River in 2009 when roughly 400 volunteers helped build a duplex on property donated by the city on Maple Street.

That was followed by a second duplex on Hilchey Road in 2015 and, last year, another duplex on Dalton Road, again on city-donated land.

Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families who otherwise could not afford a mortgage. Habitat homeowners must still make monthly loan payments but they 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.

Successful homeowner applicants must have a regular income that is not Employment Insurance or Income Assistance and they must have full custody of at least one child under the age of 18. For more information on Habitat for Humanity visit, habitatnorthisland.com