Habitat for Humanity Okanagan CEO Andrea Manifold (left), District of Lake Country Mayor James Baker and Habitat Board Chair Sharon Conway break ground on a project that will see 12 homes built on Powley Court for families in need Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Ground broken on new homes for Lake Country families

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan has started work on eight of 12 new homes coming to Powley Court

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan broke ground Wednesday afternoon on a project that will see 12 new homes built in Lake Country for families in need.

“It’s our biggest to date in the Okanagan,” said Andrea Manifold, chief executive officer for Habitat Okanagan, said of the build at Powley Court that is five years in the making.

The non-profit organization’s mandate is to provide affordable housing, and partners with families and individuals to create an affordable home ownership plan.

“For many Okanagan families, home ownership and the stability and independence that brings can be an unattainable dream, no matter how hard they work,” said Sharon Conway, the organization’s board chair. “This is where Habitat for Humanity Okanagan can help.”

The first phase of the project includes eight homes — two triplexes and a duplex, each 1,400 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Phase two will see four more homes built at the same site, and plans are in place for another six units in Lumby.

The cost of construction for the first eight homes is $2.9 million, and Manifold says while provincial and federal funding has helped moved the project to its current stage, more will be needed to see it through.

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“Habitat relies on community involvement, and there are so many ways to support us, including our ReStores, making donations and volunteering,” she said. “We also look to hear from anyone who is interested in directly helping with the build. Contractors, individuals and teams are all very welcome to help us on this site with the construction of these homes.”

Conway echoed Manifold’s comments on how community support makes these projects possible.

“It has always been the community that does the biggest portion of building these homes, and that couldn’t be more important as we go into this,” Conway said.

To that end, the non-profit launched its Powley Court capital campaign with the hopes of getting the community involved to raise $1 million towards the project.

Depending on how fundraising efforts go, Manifold said the aim is to complete the homes by the end of 2021.

So far, four eligible families have applied for the Lake Country homes, and have been approved to move in once the homes have been completed. Families are selected for projects based on a list of criteria, such a minimum standard of earnings set by the Canada Revenue Agency, their ability to make mortgage payments and a manageable amount of debt.

Habitat is seeking more applicants, and families can do so online.

There are a number of different ways to support the project and others like it, which can be found on Habitat for Humanity Okanagan’s website.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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