James, Nancy, Dwayne, Ryan & their dog, Angel, outside their home (Habitat Victoria)

Amid a housing crisis, a Greater Victoria family is settling into their new affordable home thanks to a non-profit and its abundance of volunteers.

On April 29th, Habitat for Humanity Victoria (HFHV) delivered Nancy, Dwayne and their children the keys to their brand new, fully-accessible home in North Saanich.

But for Nancy and Dwayne, it was a milestone that seemed nearly unachievable.

The family had always longed to upgrade from their previous two-bedroom apartment in Langford, but finding adequate space was a challenge given their son James’ extra accessibility needs and the current housing market.

However, that all changed when HFHV came knocking on their door. The family is now moving into a new 10-unit multi-family complex, built in partnership with Habitat Victoria.

“We no longer have to worry about where we can live,” said Nancy. “We no longer feel like we’re trapped in this apartment with our two boys crammed in one room with all James’ equipment.”

The home will not only provide James with the freedom to roam around but will reunite him with his emotional support animal. “Angel is James’ happiness; she is his best friend,” added Nancy.

HFHV Director of Family Services Tiffany Gates says the organization is “thrilled” to hand over the keys to the family, pointing to “an ongoing need for affordable homes for families in Greater Victoria.”

“We are honoured to solve a piece of this puzzle,” she said.

A key ceremony celebration featured a celebratory ribbon cutting and speeches from local district officials, including North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr. 

“I am pleased to welcome Nancy, Dwayne and their children to North Saanich. We are honoured to have Habitat Victoria building affordable homes for local families in our community,” said Orr.

The 10-unit complex, built on land donated by the Berglund family, follows a three-year $32.4 million financial commitment from the Government of Canada to Habitat for Humanity Canada and its affiliate organizations, including HFHV.

Founded in 1990, Habitat Victoria says it has built 34 homes and counting in the capital region through volunteer service, funder support and donations of money and materials.

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