Blessed by dry fall weather, Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC says it has made good progress on a new fourplex on 8th Street.
“We’ve been progressing really well on the build,” says executive director Elaine Pura, who adds the roof is on and soon windows and doors will be added so interior work can continue through the winter. The project is expected to be completed near the end of March. It consists of two two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units.
Although the organization has been accepting applications for a few months from prospective families who want to own a piece of the building, they could use more.
“We know there’s lots of need and we have received some applications but we feel the word isn’t out and people may not understand who can qualify for a Habitat home,” Pura says.
She says their chief goal is to support families who need stable, affordable housing. They also need to have a stable low-to-moderate income. In Castlegar, that means for the three-bedroom units an annual family income of up to $46,000 and for the two-bedrooms, up to $44,000, not including Canada child benefits.
Prospective owners can’t be carrying a lot of debt, but they don’t need to make a down payment. Mortgage payments are geared to income and adjusted annually. They are looking for families who already live in the Castlegar area and who are willing to commit to 500 volunteer hours within the community. That could include working on building the fourplex itself, or helping to run the local ReStore.
Additionally, Pura says they are looking for families with children, ideally young children, “so we’re providing a stable home as that family grows. We hope that 15 or 20 years down the road they’ll have saved enough money and equity in their home they’ll be able to move into market housing.”
The application process takes a while because a lot of information needs to be collected. Ultimately, Pura says they will pick the families in the greatest need and who have the “greatest chance to thrive and succeed in that home.”
One of the two-bedroom units is fully wheelchair accessible, but Pura says they haven’t had many families apply for it.
She adds the community has been very supportive in donating materials and services, but they welcome more. They will also have volunteer build days in the coming months, where teams of corporate and service club members can help with construction.