Source: Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity to Present Keys of Finished Homes to Five Vancouver Families

A Habitat for Humanity project in the works since 2015 reaches completion in Richmond, BC, this Thursday, providing homes to five deserving Vancouver families.

Richmond, British Columbia, May 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a formal key dedication ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2019, Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) will, for the first time, unveil five new Habitat homes in Richmond, BC. Built by hundreds of corporate and independent volunteers from the community, and backed by dozens of sponsors, including BC Housing, the new homes will provide five deserving Partner Families with a decent and affordable place to finally call home. At the ceremony, each Partner Family will be presented with a key to their new abode by an assigned dignitary, and upon receipt, will have immediate access to their new home and new beginning.

After several years of planning and rezoning applications, following its initial approval by the Richmond City Council in July 2015, the project officially broke ground in May 2017. “It’s been a huge labour of love for the entire Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver family, our donors, the Richmond community, and the many volunteers that played a part in, quite literally, constructing the walls of these five homes,” said Dennis Coutts, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver. “No single key dedication ceremony is like another – it’s the Superbowl event for our families. It’s a special opportunity for the community to celebrate them as they finally gain possession of their new homes, and we’re thrilled to offer them a stable foundation so they can continue to build better lives for themselves.”

The Raines’

Kelley Raines and her 16-year old son, Eden, have been in search of a safe and stable home for many years. Following a renoviction, the family of two have been bunking with various friends and family, moving every few months as a result – Kelley has continued to fulfil her motherly duties, including driving Eden to his school in Burnaby, throughout this chaotic time. Their new Habitat home will finally give Kelley and Eden the embracing home environment they need to focus on building their futures.

The Rai’s

A family of five, The Rai’s have waited anxiously for move-in day at HFHGV’s Richmond Build, marking the end of a tumultuous period that resulted in over 11 relocations since 2000. Next week, Sharon and Jeff Rai, along with their children James (26), Caleb (19), and Ruth (17), will move into their first ever stable place to call home, where they’ll resume building their lives and establishing a sense of community without further interruption.

The Taha-Mohamed’s

Gamachu, his wife Dureti, and their three young children – Dursa (6), Nanati (4), and Ifnan (23 months) – are immigrants to Canada from Ethiopia. Gamachu is no stranger to the HFHGV family, volunteering 4-5 hours of his time weekly – in addition to his place of full-time employment – to help out at the Vancouver ReStore, as well as working alongside the community on the Habitat build-site, which next week, will become the Taha-Mohamed’s new place to call home.

The Misquitta’s

Shailesh and Mamta are parents to Joshua (8), Grace (6), and Bliss (4). After being approved as a Partner Family in 2015, the Misquitta’s waited patiently for the completion of the homes, meanwhile living in a simple, one-bedroom basement suite that their family budget could afford. Despite having completed their “sweat equity” years ago, they continued to volunteer for Habitat at the Vancouver ReStore. Shailesh is looking forward to having a home in which he and his wife will no longer need to share a room with their children – and being a chef, is eager to have a space to host and dine with friends and family.

The Santonil’s

Single mother, Rowena and her son, Justin (9), are excited to start a new life where both son and mother have a bedroom of their own – their current one-bedroom apartment, located downtown, is a crowded, unhealthy space and not at all conducive to having people over. Soon, Justin will have the option to play outside with his friends, in safety, after school, which happens to be conveniently located next door. Their new home will offer the family of two a life-altering experience, giving Rowena peace of mind knowing that her son will grow up in a warm community environment that all parents can only dream of for their children.

Through HFHGV’s homeownership model, families are required to volunteer 500 hours of “sweat equity” as their commitment to Habitat. In doing so, their monthly housing costs are capped at up to 30 percent of their monthly family income, with the majority of these funds being held for the family in a savings account. The funds can then be put towards a down payment once the family is ready to begin their transition into the regular housing market. Added Coutts, “Not only are the families getting a safe, decent place to call home; they’re also learning how to take control of their finances so that one day, they can fully transition into the traditional housing market without our support.”

The Richmond Key Dedication Ceremony will be held at 8180 Ash Street on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 11:30am to 1:30pm. The event will include presentations by various public individuals, speeches from the five Partner Families, and the grand reveal of the five Richmond homes. Each home is roughly 1,800 square-feet, with both a three-bedroom and two-bedroom unit – the latter unit is designed to serve smaller families with either one or two children, or grandparents that are helping to take care of the children.

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About Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

One of 54 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Canada, Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver provides a Hand Up out of the poverty rental cycle for hard-working local families. Habitat for Humanity builds safe and affordable housing as a first step into the traditional housing market by providing families with an equity build model based on monthly housing payments capped at 30% of family income. Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver has built 31 homes in Burnaby and Vancouver, is currently building homes for 12 families in Richmond and is starting 19 homes in Mission in 2019 and is in pre-planning stages for 50 homes in Coquitlam.

To learn more or to apply for housing, please visit https://habitatgv.ca.

Dennis Coutts
CEO
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver dcoutts@habitatgv.ca

Stephani Baker
Vice President Construction
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver sbaker@habitatgv.ca