Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells presents Marla Ayre and her children Hunter, and Marissa, with the keys to their new home - the first of 10 units at the Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road project. The Ayres were one of two families presented with keys to their new homes Friday. Photo by Terry Farrell

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells presents Marla Ayre and her children Hunter, and Marissa, with the keys to their new home - the first of 10 units at the Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road project. The Ayres were one of two families presented with keys to their new homes Friday. Photo by Terry Farrell

Habitat for Humanity seeking future Comox Valley homeowner families

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (VIN) is seeking families in the Comox Valley, and in Campbell River, to partner with them to become homeowners.

The non-profit organization is holding homeownership information sessions to help guide interested families through the application process and answer any questions.

The Courtenay session will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Salish Building in Lewis Park.

(The Campbell River information session will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Centre.)

Habitat VIN currently has two multi-phase, multi-unit affordable homeownership projects on the go. They are building eight more homes on 1330 Lake Trail Road in Courtenay and seven more homes at 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River. While many of the future homeowners have been accepted and are currently working on their ‘sweat equity’ hours, Habitat is still seeking qualified families in both communities.

“Many of the families who have successfully partnered with us had to be convinced by a friend or family member to put in the initial application because they didn’t think they would qualify,” said Karen Bezaire, family services manager for Habitat VIN. “These info sessions are a way for interested families to come out and ask any questions they have about the qualifications and the process.”

While Habitat provides the opportunity of homeownership for families that would not qualify for a traditional mortgage, they stress that they do not give homes away. Habitat homeowners must be active participants in building a better home and future for themselves and their families. Families who apply and are accepted to become Habitat homeowners purchase their home through a no down-payment, interest-free mortgage with monthly payments set at 30 per cent of their yearly income. Families must also contribute at least 500 volunteer hours to Habitat before they can move into their home.

“When I first started my hours, I really didn’t think much of one more day of work and one less day of rest,” said Carlye, one of the local homeowners who partnered with Habitat in 2018. “As a single mother who works full time, it proved harder and longer than I had first thought. But now that I am done, I can’t explain the pride I have in this accomplishment.”

Once they move in, Habitat homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own home. As a Habitat homeowner pays off their mortgage, the money is invested into a revolving fund, which is used by the local Habitat to build more homes for families in their community.

To learn more about Habitat’s homeownership program and upcoming information sessions, visit www.habitatnorthisland.com/apply