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Courtenay supporting Habitat for Humanity project

A $5,000 grant from the City of Courtenay will help Habitat for Humanity begin to construct a new housing complex in the city.

Council approved a matching grant Monday in the amount of $5,000 to the Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North Society to be used toward the construction of affordable housing units at 1580 Piercy Ave.

The funding comes from the city's Matching Grant Program for Affordable Housing Initiatives Program.

Habitat for Humanity purchased the property at 1580 Piercy Ave. this year to build an affordable housing building complex of seven to eight units, according to the report from Courtenay financial services director Tillie Manthey.

The society is working with the City's planning division to finalize the plans, and construction on Phase 1 — two to three units — is projected to being in the spring of 2012, according to Manthey.

The city's 2011 budget includes a provision of $5,000 for grants made under the Affordable Housing Initiatives Policy. The funds remain available and have not been committed to any other organization.

The Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North Society has built six homes to date in our community, according to the society's application.

Habitat for Humanity provides home ownership with a 500-hour sweat equity "down payment" and zero-interest mortgage, with payments tied to the family's income.

The society's typical partner families are single-parent families with incomes high enough to service a no-interest mortgage but below the Statistics Canada poverty income indicators, according to Habitat for Humanity's application.

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