Habitat For Humanity has ambitious building schedule for northern Vancouver Island
Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North has secured a property for its next build at 1580 Piercy Ave. in Courtenay.
Over time, the organization plans to build six to eight family units at the Courtenay property. Phase One of the project includes three or four units constructed by Mother's Day 2012. Salvageable material will go to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore, whose profits from selling construction material help to fund future builds.
Habitat has lined up three tenant families who have performed the obligatory 500 hours of 'sweat equity,' a work-based type of down payment that secures an interest-free mortgage, which cannot exceed 25 per cent of their income.
A trio of local realtors — Ronni Lister (Re/Max), Harmony Dyck (Royal LePage) and Richard Verrier (Coast Realty) — found the property and wrote the contract to make the project happen, donating their commissions in the process.
"I love the sweat equity part of this," Verrier said. "It's not just a handout."
Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps said the project provides a unique opportunity for people who have never owned a home.
"It truly is a hand up," he said.
The local chapter of Habitat For Humanity has encountered the 'not-in-my-backyard' attitude in recent years while constructing eight homes throughout its area, which includes the Comox Valley and Campbell River. However, the homes typically turn out to be the nicest in the neighbourhood, HFH representatives indicate.
The regional Habitat board would like to be building five units a year by 2016 in its coverage area, which includes Campbell River. Their efforts are intended to help fill a need in terms of affordable housing and ownership.
"We just had to find the right property," board chair John Hudey said of their latest project.
A fundraising campaign will run through the winter. Habitat For Humanity solicits and welcomes government grants and donations.
For more information, call the ReStore at 250-334-3784 or visit habitatnorthisland.com.