Photo by Lorraine Graves
A team of volunteers started construction this week on 12 new units of housing near Howard DeBeck Elementary School.16 months after applying for their building permit and many, many donations later, a crew of volunteers have started to swing their hammers, saw the wood, and install screws on a Habitat for Humanity project that will let 12 families start their journey up the housing ladder by leaving high cost, low quality rentals to have a home of their own, albeit a small one, where they pay no more than 30 per cent of their gross income per month.
The people moving into the units will have
to put in sweat equity by working to build their own home along side the
volunteers and professionals, many of whom will be donating their skills. Six of the 12 units will be
rentals, with a twist; the new tenants will be chosen from a list of 300
applicants and it will be based on the most deserving.
“It can be a senior raising their grandchildren to a single parent going back to work who needs an affordable place,” says Habitat for Humanity Operations Director Stephani Baker.
Baker points out that each volunteer
builder must raise at least $1,000 dollars.The crews for the first six days of the build are all women.Amongst the many donors to this
project, the City of Richmond gave a grant to cover the Developer Cost Charges;
BC Housing sold the land to Habitat for Humanity below market cost at
“We have volunteers from the skilled trades as well,” says Baker. “One electrician has volunteered to wire an entire home in this project.”Baker says Habitat for Humanity seeks more qualified tradespeople to contribute their time and skills to the project. The project is expected to take about a year and a half to complete.