While house warming parties may be put on hold, three Vancouver Island families are still celebrating their new digs.

The final triplex on Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s 477 Hilchey Road project in Campbell River was completed quietly, without the large community celebration typically held pre-pandemic. 

But for three local families, move-in day will be remembered as one of the most significant days of their lives, Habitat VIN says.

Hilchey Rd. Triplex (Photo supplied by: Karen McKinnon)

Afton and her son; Lori-Dawn and Jamie and their four children; and Deanna and her daughter are the newest residents in the 11-home Habitat community.

For Lori-Dawn, a Habitat home means finally being able to prioritize her health. She has chronic health issues, but most of their income went towards rent. This meant she wasn’t always able to purchase the food she needed for pain management, or much-needed medical devices.

“I was putting my health on the back burner because we needed to pay bills,” Lori-Dawn explains.

All three families put in 500 hours of volunteer work with Habitat, and will now pay an affordable mortgage geared toward their income.

While each family had their own unique struggles that stemmed from a lack of safe or affordable housing, Habitat VIN says they all have something in common: the desire to create a stronger and more stable future for their children.

“I can’t thank Habitat enough for granting my son and I the opportunity for a hand up. Between the build site and the ReStore, I have met the most incredible people,” Afton adds. “This is the start of our new chapter, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Staff at Habitat VIN are now thanking their many volunteers, donors, sponsors, and the city for making it all possible, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

And with the homes at 477 Hilchey Road now completed, Habitat VIN is looking ahead at their next project in Campbell River. City council recently approved the first and second reading for Habitat’s proposed rezoning of 461 Hilchey Road, and it will go to public hearing on May 10th. Habitat VIN hopes to build twenty affordable homes on the one-acre property.