UPDATE: Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Mar. 27th key ceremony has been cancelled.

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North is keeping busy.

It’s preparing for its upcoming key ceremony and barbeque scheduled for Mar. 27th at 10:30am.

Two more families will be welcomed into their new homes at 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River.

“It’s a phenomenal event,” says Executive Director Pat McKenna. “Our families work through 500 hours of volunteerism and it culminates with this symbolic key ceremony. We transfer the keys of ownership to our families as we show them the homes.”

This will mark the completion of the seventh and eighth units planned for the site.

“There’s eleven homes in total in the subdivision and six are occupied already. So, this will be seven and eight. We are starting to pour the concrete of the tri-plex which will conclude the subdivision. That will be occupied in fall of this year.”

The Habitat team worked on the two new homes for close to five months, which is “about consistent.”

McKenna says they’re built by certified carpenters, “but there’s also a huge volunteer component as well.”

This means the homes are completed at a slower pace, but with “a lot more love.”

“We’ll have anywhere from four to eight volunteers on site every day. We also have team build days where companies can come out and volunteer. There’s multiple ways to help and no experience is necessary.”

If you’re interested in volunteering on a build site, the best way to get started is by visiting Habitat’s website or by giving them a call.

“We’ll make sure that you have a safe and fun job,” McKenna says. “You’ll feel very satisfied at the end of the day.”

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North is “really proud to be part of the continuum of housing” and currently sits on the leadership team for the Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness.

“Every home that we build helps people get out of social assistance, rental or market rental situations. We free up the inventory. Affordable housing is critical, that we have more units on stream. That’s where Habitat fits in. We’re also a large advocate for affordable housing in the City of Campbell River as well,” McKenna adds.