On September 28th, Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC celebrated the completion of their new affordable housing project in Castlegar with a Key Ceremony. The keys to the homes were presented to the four selected families in celebration of their new homeownership journey in newly-built, energy-efficient homes. These families will be given the opportunity to achieve the dream of affordable homeownership thanks to the generous support and involvement of our supporters, volunteers, and staff, all of whom have contributed to Habitat for Humanity’s newest build project in Southeast BC.
“It is crucial for our government to partner with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to provide safe, sustainable, and energy-efficient housing across Canada,” said the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “This investment through the National Housing Strategy will support four families in Castlegar with homes that meet their unique needs, giving them the opportunity to live comfortably and thrive within their community. Our government is proud to share news like today that demonstrates the NHS at work.”
In March 2023, the Government of Canada and Habitat for Humanity Canada announced an additional $25 million investment to build 500 new affordable homes across Canada over the next three years. This brings the total federal investment in Habitat for Humanity to $80.8 million through the Government of Canada’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund.
“We know that the housing crisis has made it difficult for families to envision themselves owning a home in British Columbia,” said Ravi Kahlon, Provincial Minister of Housing, “This project shows that through collaboration and partnership, we can help people connect with their communities and create a lasting future for themselves in British Columbia. We will continue to support families by investing in affordable housing options.”
“Castlegar is a community that looks after its own and this project is just the latest example of that,” said Katrine Conroy, Provincial MLA for Kootenay West. “By partnering with Habit for Humanity Southeast BC, our government is helping to provide affordable housing for people in their home community, while preserving the land for future generations.”
Neil Coburn, Volunteer Chair for Habitat Southeast BC, is incredibly proud of this project: “This remarkable building will be a legacy for the city of Castlegar. Many thanks to the community support and commitment from our supporters and members who believe in the mission of Habitat for Humanity".
Neil Coburn continues, "Not only will four families now live in safe and secure housing, but this build project is also a first of its kind for Habitat for Humanity in all of BC. It has achieved the highest environmental efficiency rating available for a residential building – Step Code 5. The limited environmental footprint and the subsequent savings in utility costs that our families will receive is another great benefit to this unique build.”
When the construction of the multi-family build project began in April of 2022, the search for partner families began immediately. Elaine Pura, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC said: “There is a clear need for affordable housing for families here in the Kootenays. Finding partner families who were in need of safe and secure housing is a high priority for us. We are pleased that we have identified and selected families who we feel will thrive as partners and become involved community members, contributing to building a strong community here in Castlegar.”
Neil Coburn added: “Selected Habitat families are not given the home. They buy it at market value.”
Habitat homeowners must satisfy several criteria: have the ability to pay an income-appropriate monthly mortgage, be in need of decent, affordable housing, and be willing to partner with Habitat. As part of that partnership, the family must also volunteer a total of 500 hours toward helping - either with the build or as a volunteer within the community for other worthwhile organizations. Habitat for Humanity believes that access to affordable housing is a basic human right, that should be available to all. Habitat Southeast BC is committed to helping families forge a path out of poverty and into safe and secure housing they can call their own.
This project has been funded by many national, provincial, and local donors. In particular Our Funding Partners:
Through the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada has invested $260,000 into this build project in Castlegar, bringing Habitat for Humanity one step closer to creating 414 new affordable homes across Canada.
More about the homes:
Four units make up the project, featuring Two, 3-bedroom town house units, and two, 2-bedroom condo units. One of the 2 bedroom units is adaptable into an accessible unit. The homes are built to BC Step Code 5 Energy Efficiency and have waterwise (xeriscape) landscaping. In the exterior, there is 7 parking stalls with bicycle storage. They also feature an outside common area and Public Pedestrian Right of Way. Considerations such as building form and character, height, landscaping, screening, and impact on immediate neighbors have been considered in design and integration into the neighborhood.
Over the last decade the demand for affordable housing in the Kootenay Boundary region has been dramatically increasing. Affordable homeownership already in limited supply, has become even more scarce in recent years and months, making affordable homeownership an impossible dream for most low to moderate-income families. Habitat homes provide affordable Home Ownership The homes are designed in accordance with the Habitat for Humanity Canada Guidelines, and Partner Families selected meet Habitat’s housing eligibility requirements for affordable homeownership.
March 30, 2023
You may become a Habitat for Humanity Homeowner!
You may be able to qualify for one of our available homes in Grand Forks
The links below to some information will help you understand what becoming a Habit Partner Family is all about.
Applications are still being accepted for our properties in Grand Forks.
When you are ready, click on the “Home Ownership” section of our website to start the application process toward owning one of the Zero Down payment homes we have available.
Questions & Answers about becoming a Partner Family
Our Homeownership Program Explained