Image above: Peter Sanderson and a group of dedicated volunteers attended the simple key ceremony for Nadine Miles and her daughter Casey, the sixth deserving family to take possession of the affordable housing on Piercy Avenue.
Big celebration to honour volunteers and donors to take place Saturday
The biggest affordable housing project in the Comox Valley is now complete.
The housing project headed by the Vancouver Island North Habitat for Humanity took a year and a half to build. It features three duplexes located on Piercy Avenue in Courtenay. They were built by the over a thousand volunteers with support coming from different groups, businesses and companies in the Comox Valley.
“This is the biggest project we’ve ever built,” said Karen Bezaire, of Habitat for Humanity. “We normally just build one duplex simply because that’s all the lot would allow for. But this one is a long, long narrow lot that we acquired and we had more space to put more home. It made more sense to do that.”
Six deserving families have now moved into the new homes. The last family to receive the keys to their new abode was Nadine Miles and her daughter Casey just a month ago.
To celebrate the community achievement, Habitat for Humanity is holding a dedication event to honour the people that made the project a reality. The event will take place at Piercy Avenue on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Visitors and guests will get the opportunity to tour the homes, meet the families and also enjoy a barbecue afterwards.
“We’re bringing together all the companies that has come alongside with us that donated gifts and kind, or donated money, or donated their time on the build,” said Bezaire. “Also the hundreds of volunteers who put in hundreds to thousands of hours to help build these homes. So it’s a celebration. It’s a party.”
The six families that now own their homes had to be eligible for the affordable housing project.
“There was a criteria that families had to meet,” said Bezaire. “Applicants must have a family and have custody of the children. It could be a grandparent, a single mom or even a single dad. There is an income criteria, which we get from the government so they have to be below that. They have to have full-time employment because they have to pay back the mortgage we provide for them. It’s an interest free mortgage. Just like everybody else they have to pay their mortgage to Habitat and it’s 30 per cent of their income so it’s amortized so it’s affordable to them.”
Each house features two regular bedrooms and one office space, with one-and-a-half baths. Two of them have a grass yard and the other four have a small patio type area.
“It’s an intentional community where the six families can support each other and help each other, which is really great,” said Bezaire. “Fundamentally, Habitat definitely wants to be known as changing the lives of children, one family at a time, shaping generations that follow from this home schemed built.”
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