News

Giving a hand up in the Comox Valley

Construction on three duplexes is expected to begin this spring. - Photo submitted
Construction on three duplexes is expected to begin this spring.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North plans to give six Comox Valley families a hand up towards owning a home this year.

Volunteer co-ordinator Maureen Miller expects construction on three duplexes to begin this spring; all the homes would be located on a now-empty lot on Piercy Avenue near Eighth Street.

Miller said one of the duplexes is already sold but five are still available, and she invites young Comox Valley families to apply for the remaining homes.

“Our mandate is specifically geared towards building houses for hardworking families who couldn’t otherwise qualify for a mortgage,” said Miller, adding that a ‘family’ must include a child among other criteria, but she’s confident many families in the Valley would qualify — and could use the help to buy their own home.

“The way the economy is now, there’s probably a lot of people out there who are paying rent that could go towards a mortgage, but they don’t qualify for a mortgage, nor do they have the down payment.”

Families that buy a home from Habitat pay the organization mortgage payments which are geared towards their income level. Also, the mortgage is interest free and there’s no down payment, according to Miller, who added that it’s “a hand up, not a handout.”

According to Miller, the homes will be energy-efficient, and Habitat plans to build them to Platinum Level Accreditation through Built Green Canada.

The organization is looking for volunteers to help with the project.

It needs help with fundraising, which people can do on their own or as part of a team.

Businesses can also help fundraise, and Miller said JET-FM plans to raise $100,000 towards the project.

Habitat also needs skilled trades people to help with the physical construction work once the foundation and ground work is finished.

“The volunteers — their job is to put the walls up and get a roof on the house and we need a lot of support from the sub-trades,” said Miller, adding there is no minimum time commitment for volunteers.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate, visit www.habitatnorthisland.com

Anyone interested in creating a volunteer group can e-mail Maureen Miller at cvvcvin@gmail.com

Interested families can find information on qualifying criteria and how to apply for a home at www.habitatnorthisland.com

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