Marcel Aubin, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Mid Vancouver Island, poses with architectural drawings of the new duplex that is under construction in the Cowichan Valley. (File photo)

Variances help Habitat for Humanity stay on track with Duncan six-plex project

Ground was broken back in May on Habitat for Humanity’s first North Cowichan project and, before the year ends, ground will be broken on the mid-Vancouver Island branch of the non-profit’s first Duncan project, too.

Habitat MVI executive director Marcel Aubin said his group was granted some development permit variances by the City of Duncan on Tuesday, which should help to save some money on the ambitious six-plex project on Jubilee Street.

SEE RELATED: Habitat for Humanity breaks ground in North Cowichan

SEE RELATED: Habitat for Humanity starting 8 new homes in Cowichan in 2019

“The City of Duncan has really been stepping up,” Aubin said. “We’re trying to reduce some of our costs with the six-plex.”

“Both [Jubilee Street and the property on Cowichan Lake Road] are interesting investments we’ve made into Cowichan here because we purchased both pieces of property at fair market value so it sort of put us behind.”

Asking for variances on some development fees help them to catch up but Aubin also noted that local businesses and trades have been “phenomenal” in donating their time and services to keep the projects on budget.

”It’s actually looking really good,” Aubin said. “The business community has really stepped up and now that we have those relationships it’s going to make it easier when we get to the six-plex.”

SEE RELATED: Habitat for Humanity expands into Valley with Re-Store

Habitat is still looking for a family to fill the four-bedroom home on one side of the Cowichan Lake Road duplex. The deadline for submitting applications for the six-plex has also passed.

“We’ll see how we’ve done as far as what applications we’ve received,” Aubin said, adding that a six-member Family Committee will set to work sorting through the applications to select the candidates that fit their criteria best.

Habitat is always looking for more volunteers. Whether it’s at the build sites or in the Re-Store or any number of other tasks, “every other day there’s something that we need,” Aubin said.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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