Site clearing has begun at the newest Habitat for Humanity project at 1330 Lake Trail Rd. in Courtenay. The first four homes (two duplexes) are expected to be built this year, with two ready for occupancy in the fall. The goal is to complete the entire 10-unit project by 2020.
“I think we’re doing well,” said Tom Beshr, director of development at Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North. “CFB Comox is involved again. They’re going to work on at least one unit. And North Island College will be helping us…It’s a $4 1/2 million project, and we need all hands on deck.”
Beshr said the reception from neighbours has been positive. He also credits the City of Courtenay for supporting the build with a grant of nearly $50,000.
“They’re recognizing the need for affordable housing,” Beshr said.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) was a very good day for us,” he added. “We won’t release the name yet, but we were the lucky recipients of a half-million dollar gift.”
Habitat’s main goal is to break the cycle of poverty through home ownership. Homeowners provide 500 hours of ‘sweat equity,’ a type of down payment that secures an interest-free mortgage.
“Money and volunteers, that’s really what we need,” Beshr said. “We would love to have skilled people. Ideally, we look for retired trades people who are interested in sharing their skills with others.”