As a single mom with two young boys, a thought that has crossed Tara Maguire’s mind more than once is what would happen to her family if something happened to her and she couldn’t work any more or as much.
Rent takes up almost 50 per cent of her income already, so when she heard that her family is one of two families selected to live in the duplex that Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island is building, she was overjoyed.
“It will provide financial stability for myself and my children,” said Maguire, 33. “It was going to take us 10 years before I could jump into the market.”
Habitat sells qualifying families homes with an interest-free mortgage. No more than a quarter of the family’s income goes toward mortgage payments and as the family’s income changes, the mortgage changes with it, so the family will not end up homeless.
Maguire and her sons Kyler, 9, and Jackson, 4, and Jenn Stuart and her two daughters, Solace, 8, and Maren, 3, will occupy the duplex once it is finished next winter.
The families have qualified based on need, ability to take on a mortgage and willingness to partner with Habitat to complete 500 hours of sweat equity per family.
Maguire and her sons are helping out at community events and she is crocheting shawls for Nanaimo Community Hospice Society.
She said the family plans to continue volunteering beyond the required 500 hours.
Habitat has broken ground on the duplex at the corner of Prideaux and Hecate streets that will house Maguire and Stuart’s families and is looking for community support to help raise the $150,000 needed.
“It costs quite a bit of money to build these houses to a good quality,” said Teresa Pring, Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island executive director. “We hope that the community supports our project. Last year we raised about $200,000, so I think we can do it.”
The duplex, 1,100 square feet per side including three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, will become the 13th and 14th homes built by the Nanaimo charity and it is being built next door to a duplex the charity built last year.
The goal is to achieve the Built Green Platinum Standard, a standard that requires builders to use energy efficient framing methods and environmentally friendly building products, and will keep the hydro and heating bills down for the two families.
Pring said aside from helping monetarily, people are welcome to help at the build site doing chores like painting or cleanup work, as this type of work helps reduce the $150,000 price tag.
Major donations to date include $10,000 from Coast Realty Group, $20,000 from Royal Bank of Canada and $10,000 from Mid-Island Co-op.
Gifts can be made online at www.habitatmvi.org, in person at Habitat headquarters – #1-4128 Mostar Rd. – or over the phone at 250-758-8078.