Habitat for Humanity Okanagan CEO Andrea Manifold (left), District of Lake Country Mayor James Baker and Habitat Board Chair Sharon Conway broke ground on a project that will see 12 homes built on Powley Court for families in need Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan CEO Andrea Manifold (left), District of Lake Country Mayor James Baker and Habitat Board Chair Sharon Conway broke ground on a project that will see 12 homes built on Powley Court for families in need Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Community effort needed to deliver Habitat homes in Lake Country

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan is striving to complete eight affordable homes by end of 2021

The groundwork has been laid for an affordable housing build in Lake Country. All that’s needed is community support to see the project through to completion.

In January 2021, Habitat for Humanity Okanagan plans to enter the structural phase for the first eight of 12 homes that will be built on Powley Court.

Habitat, a non-profit organization, partners with eligible families to offer a path to affordable homeownership based on families’ gross income. Families agree to log 500 hours of work at a Habitat ReStore location as part of the agreement.

Habitat broke ground on the Powley Court build in September, the first phase of which includes two triplexes and a duplex, each 1,400 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Phase two will see four more homes built at the same site, and plans are in place for another six units in Lumby.

READ MORE: Ground broken on new homes for Lake Country families

The cost of construction for the first eight homes is $2.9 million, and in September the organization also launched its capital campaign with the goal getting the Lake Country community involved to raise $1 million for the project.

But with COVID-19 disrupting a number of fundraising events, Habitat Okanagan CEO Andrea Manifold says the capital campaign has so far “barely scratched the surface.”

“We recognize it’s been a challenging period for many families and anybody who has been hit by some hardship,” said Manifold, adding that anyone in need of affordable housing can have a look at our website and see how they can apply and whether they’re eligible for Habitat home.”

Habitat is currently looking for businesses and individuals — preferably local — to get involved on-site with a team build.

Any form of support is welcome, and there are a number of different ways to help, including shopping at a ReStore, entering Habitat’s 50/50 lottery, volunteering or contributing to the capital campaign. All support options can be perused on Habitat’s website.

Manifold said the District of Lake Country has been highly accommodating since well before ground was broken on the site.

“They have been an enormous help for us in getting this project to where it is now, and there’s been a number of local trades that have recently stepped in as well,” she said.

Harmony Homes has been brought on board as the general contractor, and Manifold says they’ll reach the stage of completing the framing for the site by June next year.

Any surplus funds from the capital campaign will be put towards other Habitat builds, starting with the four other homes at Powley Court or the six proposed homes in Lumby, which still need to pass the development permit stage.

As for Phase 1 in Lake Country, Habitat is still committed to delivering the homes to their families by the end of 2021, but will need the community’s help to meet that mark.

“Our agreement is to complete their homes by next year, come whatever,” Manifold said. “We want to get those families in and that development built by December.”

To learn more about the project, how to get involved or how to apply for a home, visit habitatforhumanityokanagan.ca.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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