(From left) Habitat CEO Yolanda Meijer, Sarah and her family, Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor ((Habitat for Humanity Victoria Contributed)
Friday, May 17, 2019 A7
Supporters and volunteers gather to welcome Sarah and her family home, in Central Saanich. (Habitat for Humanity Victoria Contributed)
Habitat for Humanity opens doors for family Nick Murray News Staff
A family received the keys to their new home Tuesday, as part of an affordable house building project run by Habitat for Humanity Victoria. The single-family home was built on an “extra small lot” donated by Cube Project Management, as part of the Polo Village Development on East Saanich Road. Ground was broken in fall 2018 and construction was completed at the end of April. Donors, sponsors and Habitat supporters gathered in the driveway of the new home to celebrate the construction and welcome the new family home. The organization is a registered charity that helps create affordable homes. Founded in 1990, Habitat for Humanity has built 23 homes in Greater Victoria for 27 families. Habitat employs an interesting method to get people out of unsafe housing and into a new
starter home, purchasing it at its full market value. However, the group assists by removing the need to make a downpayment and financing the purchase through a no-interest mortgage. Monthly payments are set annually to ensure they do not exceed 30 per cent of the family’s gross household income. People are eligible for the program if they agree to contribute 500 volunteer hours of what the company calls “sweat equity” and if they are currently living in an unsuitable or unsafe home. Financial checks are made to see if applicants can pay back the interest-free loan. “Owning a home has always been a goal of mine. I really want my boys to have a real sense of community and belonging,” said Sarah, the purchaser of the home. “We are very excited to start this new chapter of our lives in our new home and are so grateful to Habitat and all of the donors, volunteers and staff that have worked so hard to make our new home a reality.”
The build was supported by a grant from BC Housing and funds from the Gingerbread Showcase, and made possible with the support of the District of Central Saanich. “It is so powerful to attend this key turning ceremony with Sarah and her beautiful family. An affordable home like this one provides the opportunity for a family to live, work and play in this beautiful community we have the privilege of calling home,” said Coun. Niall Paltiel. Another Central Saanich Habitat home will start construction later this year on a lot donated by Gary Lunn as part of an 18-unit development on Veyaness Road. Further up the Peninsula, 10 units will be completed next year in North Saanich thanks to a land donation from John and Brian Berglund of Reay Developments Ltd., as part of their development at Bakerview and Lochside. For more information on how to become a future Habitat homeowner or to become a supporter, visit habitatvictoria.com.
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“It’s such a beautiful time of year here on the west coast, perhaps you plan to be fishing, relaxing, camping, working, or all of the above. Whatever your activity, from my family to yours - wishing you a happy Victoria Day long weekend!” -David
May 17, 2019 edition of the Peninsula News Review