Jessica Burns and her daughter Bella, 8, are shown just after receiving keys to their new home from Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Residents welcomed to new Habitat for Humanity homes in Campbell River

New homeowners received keys during ceremony at affordable housing development

Two families received keys to new homes built and financed by Habitat for Humanity in Campbell River on Tuesday morning.

“I still can’t believe it’s real,” said Jessica Burns, moments after stepping inside a home at 477 Hilchey Road with her eight-year-old daughter.

Burns fought back tears as she thanked a crowd of several dozen people, including Habitat for Humanity volunteers and local dignitaries, assembled outside the housing development in Willow Point.

“We couldn’t be more thankful,” she said.

Burns said they took part in the construction of the home as part of the volunteer hours required for participants in the Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (VIN) home ownership program.

They also volunteered at Habitat for Humanity’s local ReStore and held a community appreciation barbecue at a local car dealership.

Joelle and Tyler Spiers, with their two kids, six-year-old Koah and three-year-old Sebastian, also received keys to a neighbouring home during the key ceremony.

“It’s a huge thing for our family to finally have a home and have good neighbours,” Tyler Spiers told the crowd just before stepping into the new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

The two families were the fifth and sixth housed as part of the development, which will eventually provide housing for 11 families.

Several members of council attended the event, including Mayor Andy Adams, who said “council is extremely proud to support Habitat for Humanity,” praising the group’s efforts and other affordable housing initiatives.

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity gets final approvals for the rest of Hilchey complex

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity hands over keys to Campbell River families

Pat McKenna, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North, said that homeowners provide 500 hours of volunteer hours, sometimes called sweat equity, before receiving an interest-free mortgage.

Their mortgage payments are capped at 30 per cent of income, including taxes, insurance and strata fees. Down payment for the homes are covered by Habitat.

McKenna stressed the importance of volunteers for Habitat for Humanity’s efforts, saying the group is “searching for volunteers to help us build these homes.”


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