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Habitat for Humanity opens door to new homeowners in Nanaimo

Not-for-profit organization held a key ceremony Sept. 23
Sawyer Trinkwon takes part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of his new home, while Jeff Krafta, Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island executive director, presents the ceremonial key to mother Chelsie Trinkwon. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

A family has realized a dream of owning a home in the south end of Nanaimo.

Chelsie Trinkwon and sons Jaxon and Sawyer are the latest to partner with Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island, officially cutting the ribbon on their home in the Extension Road area on Saturday, Sept. 23.

For Trinkwon, her house provides a better living environment as her previous home was not in the best condition.

“It was in a very rough neighbourhood and it was really affecting the well-being of all of us and so moving here, it’s been an unbelievable experience and to see just in the short time how much safe and healthy housing makes a difference, especially for children,” said Trinkwon. “For my children, there’s been a huge shift in them and they are incredibly happy and at peace here.”

Non-profit Habitat for Humanity has a goal of providing cost-effective home ownership, with families chosen based on a number of factors, including eagerness to partner with Habitat, need and ability to pay the mortgage.

Jeff Krafta, Habitat Mid-Vancouver Island’s executive director, said the Trinkwons are taking possession of a house after the previous owners were able to buy a house in a different community.

“We have the opportunity to buy back the house from the partner family,” he said. “We have what’s called right of first refusal on the homes … but if we don’t have the opportunity to buy it back, or the capital we need to do it, then it goes to market housing.”

Krafta said that has been a reality over the last few years, with Habitat Mid-Vancouver Island losing seven units of its affordable housing inventory.

“We’re actually looking at ways to address that, so that we can ensure that our affordable housing inventory stays [that way] in perpetuity, and there’s not that risk down the road that we may lose it,” he said.

The Trinkwon family moved into the house in July and said it truly feels like home.

“We’re still furnishing things … it’s just bit-by-bit,” said Trinkwon. “We’re finishing rooms up and making it our own.”

READ ALSO: Premier pledges $61M in housing help for B.C. cities

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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