In the photo: Left to right: Maryanne Bower, constituency assistant to Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone; Kirsty Morris, constituency assistant to Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake; Jennifer Thompson, constitutency assistant to Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod; Micah Rankin, Habitat’s board vice-chairman; Coun. Tina Lange; and Tom Kasten, project manager. Also on hand were the two families who will live in the duplex: Mom Lorna Seip and kids Caleb and Gracie Platt; and mom Krystal Harper and kids Tamberly Harper and Tristan Collins. Dave Eagles photo/KTW
For two Kamloops families, the road to homeownership has begun.
Habitat for Humanity broke ground on Friday, April 4, on its first home in Kamloops since 2009.
The Habitat home will be a duplex, located at 3143 Westsyde Rd., and will be the third project to house two families at the same time.
Habitat for Humanity director Jan Linford joined Habitat in November 2013 and will be taking part in her first build with the organization.
Seven families were considered for the homes, including the two that were chosen — mom Lorna Seip and kids Caleb and Gracie Platt; and mom Krystal Harper and kids Tamberly Harper and Tristan Collins.
Lingford noted the number of applicants was low compared to other Habitat builds across the country, likely due to Habitat’s prolonged absence from the building scene in Kamloops.
She hopes the number of applicants will increase for next year’s project.
Families need to meet three criteria when applying for a Habitat for Humanity home:
• Their current living situation must be untenable due to cost, safety or other concerns.
• They must also be considered low-income in the Kamloops area, as defined by Statistics Canada, and be willing to work with Habitat on the all aspects of the home for more than a year.
• Homeowners are required to put in 500 hours of “sweat-equity” during the course of their build, in place of a down payment.
Habitat provides the mortgage to the homeowners, interest-free and with no down payment.
The families then make the monthly payments on the fair market value of the home — estimated at $320,000 for each half of the duplex.
Habitat is hoping to have the duplex complete and the families moved in by Christmas.