Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island plans to start work on at least eight new homes in the Cowichan Valley this year.
Those homes include a six-plex planned for Duncan, and a duplex in another location in the Cowichan Valley.
Plans also call for eight to 10 new Habitat homes to be built in Nanaimo over the next few years.
As part of its mandate, the HHMVI is continually looking for further opportunities to develop affordable housing in its region, which stretches from Duncan to Qualicum Beach to Port Alberni and Tofino.
With the help of volunteers and Habitat homeowners, the organization helps build and/or rehabilitate safe, decent and affordable homes for low-income working families.
While no down payment is required, the chosen partner families are required to pay an interest-free mortgage geared to their income, and volunteer 500 hours of “sweat equity” on Habitat projects.
That means they must help work on their own homes, or other Habitat homes, during construction, or perform some other approved tasks for Habitat.
In related news, Marcel Aubin, who is from the Cowichan Valley, is the new executive director for the HHMVI.
Aubin has served as chairman and a board member of several non-profit boards, including the Cowichan Intercultural Society, Cowichan BC Summer Games, Literacy Now and the BC Association of Friendship Centres.
Prior to joining Habitat for Humanity, Aubin also worked at executive and management-level positions with numerous organizations.
Aubin said he is dedicated to strengthening families and communities and Habitat is a great fit to affirm these principles and values.
“What excites me about Habitat is that what we achieve is truly down to a community effort,” he said.
“From the people who shop in and donate to our Restores, local businesses who support us with donations, products and services to our invaluable volunteers, we couldn’t achieve what we do without everyone working together. I am looking forward to being part of that.”