Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mother of three receives keys to new Habitat for Humanity home in North Saanich


Habitat for Humanity’s latest 10-unit project just welcomed its newest residents at a key ceremony this weekend to provide shelter for a young family struggling to find accommodations.

On Saturday, August 26th, Nen, a mother of three got the keys to an affordable housing unit which will be her family’s new home in North Saanich. 

Nen’s landlord at her and her children’s previous home evicted them when they decided to move in themselves. Because of this, she found herself looking for a new home for her kids without possibly being able to afford what was on the rental market. 

She had to resort to temporarily moving back into her parents house with her three kids.

Nen says she is grateful to have that option, but her childhood home wasn’t meant to accommodate six people in such a small place. 

“Because we intended this move to be temporary, the closets weren’t emptied when we moved into the home,” Nen said at the ceremony. “Our belongings don’t fit in the home, so almost all our personal items are in a storage locker.” 

“My daughters are squished in and don’t have any personal space.”

The last time she needed to find a rental was nine years prior to this when there was far less competition and prices were much lower. 

Nen says a colleague told her she should contact Habitat for Humanity so she did and began going through the motions to get herself on a waitlist. After a wait of slightly over a year, she finally got the call that a home had become available.

“When we found out we qualified for a home, we cried tears of joy because we were so excited,” she said. 

Habitat for Humanity caps their families’ mortgage payments at 30% of whatever their monthly gross income is to ensure the house is affordable. 

“The cost of renting right now would be my entire income plus savings, so my Habitat payments being capped at 30% of my income is phenomenal,” Nen explained. “That will make a massive difference in our income stability.”

The down payment is also covered by Habitat for Humanity with the only requirement on the family being 500 hours of required community service through their offshoot organizations like ReStore. 

Family and friends are able to help with completing these hours though and Nen says over 30 coworkers and friends have already offered up some of their time to help her get to 500 hours. 

“It has been amazing to see that outpouring of people that are willing to jump in,” she said. 

Habitat for Humanity is able to do the work they do in part thanks to $80.8 million in federal funding provided in 2019 and everything else is paid for primarily through donations.

Curtis Blandy

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