Leanne Hammond

Leanne Hammond

Project Build Society lends helping hand

The Project Build Society has announced its latest project, which will grant approximately 75 families the gift of home ownership.

A community venture is making home-ownership dreams come true in Vernon.

The Project Build Society has announced its latest project, which will grant approximately 75 families the gift of home ownership.

Working with developers, trades people, financial institutions, realtors and businesses, the society will construct three communities in Vernon. And everyone involved is also asked to give a little bit – which in turn provides free down payments for the families being assisted.

“These families we are putting into houses have been dreaming of having a home most of their lives,” said Leanne Hammond, executive director of the society, which is the only non-profit society of its kind in Canada.

“They’re doing their best…and they just can’t seem to be able to save enough for a down payment.”

Maureen D’Angelo, project sales and marketing, says the project can dramatically change life for families.

“We all believe that we change the lives of children.”

The three projects, which are expected to break ground within the next three months (and could be completed in another five to six months), include: 14 units overlooking Okanagan Lake at Asana (duplexes), 28 Heritage Drive units at Copper Crest Vista (fourplexes and duplexes) and 33 condo units at the Terraces on Turtle Mountain.

The units range in price from approximately $300,000 up to $400,000 (depending on the unit and family requirements).

The projects are targeted towards middle class families, which could range from a single parent and children to a working two-parent family.

It could be a family renting or one who owns an existing home but needs to expand. But they must be able to qualify for and carry a mortgage.

“They can afford the mortgage payments but can’t afford the down payment,” said D’Angelo.

The project recently completed similar projects in Kelowna and Lake Country, where Hammond says there is a desperate need for affordable housing.

“In the Okanagan, Kelowna in particular, we fall into the least affordable/extremely unaffordable housing situation, and Vernon’s not far behind,” said Hammond.

“This is the kind of market where there needs to be this kind of help for families.”

That situation is one the City of Vernon has identified as a priority to address, therefore this project, which also benefits business and the economy, is applauded.

“This works very well with our affordable housing strategy,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Families can download applications at www.ProjectBuild.ca.

The process includes sharing your story, an interview with Hammond and passing the committee screening process.

As part of its project, the society is also giving the Vernon Community Land Trust $1,000.