(Habitat for Humanity Victoria)

A single mother and her son finally have a permanent place to call home after years of renting thanks to the efforts of Habitat for Humanity.

On Thursday, May 25th, Michelle and Alex got the keys to their new home that they now own. Their home is on Bethune Avenue and previously belonged to a family who gained access to the house through Habitat years ago but have since moved on and sold the house back to the organization. 

“I applied to Habitat on a hope, and it’s been an incredible journey since toward homeownership,” said Michelle. “Being a homeowner will give us a sense of stability in an extremely difficult housing market.”

“I am looking forward to having stability in housing. Being able to get into this market is great because I don’t think it’s very accessible to people anymore without the Habitat Program, especially single parents.”

Habitat for Humanity Victoria will eventually buy back the house from Michelle, once she is ready to enter the regular housing market. That way the house will serve another family who wants to enter the housing market but can’t break through the affordability barrier that is holding them back.

In order to get their home, Michelle had to contribute to the organization after she joined the program. She put in over 500 hours of community service with Habitat for Humanity in volunteering at the ReStore, the Gingerbread Showcase and the organization’s marketing team. 

“It has been such a pleasure to complete my volunteer service hours,” Michelle said.  “Habitat has been extremely accommodating of my busy schedule, ensuring flexibility in the roles and times that I can complete my hours.”

The mother and son’s home was purpose built by Habitat for Humanity in 2010 and has been refurbished over the past few months to make sure Michelle and Alex are moving into an updated house that can feel like home to them.

In the key ceremony Habitat for Humanity held for Michelle and Alex, Scott Dutchak, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Victoria spoke of how handing over the keys would represent a new beginning for the mother and son.

“At Habitat for Humanity Victoria, we believe that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home,” said Dutchak. 

“Today is a reminder of the profound impact that affordable homeownership has not only on the families we serve, but also the communities they live in. With the help of our supporters, we are building stronger, more vibrant communities for generations to come.”

The organization has built 34 homes and served 38 families in the Capital Regional District to date and with Michelle and Alex moving into their new home, they mark the 39th family they’ve aided in navigating the housing crisis. 

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