Habitat project turns houses into homes

NANAIMO – Habitat for Humanity breaks ground for new duplex home to house two Nanaimo families.

Emil Roessingh

Emil Roessingh

Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island  has broken ground for a new duplex that will become home for two Nanaimo families needing a hand up.

The ceremony was hosted Wednesday afternoon at the construction site at the corner of Prideaux and Hecate Streets, next door to where a duplex was built in 2012.

The new duplex will become the 13th and 14th homes built by the organization in Nanaimo and constructed to meet the Built Green Gold Standard in keeping with the organization’s goal to keep home ownership and operating costs to a minimum.

“It’s a duplex, 1,100 square feet per side with three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms,” said Emil Roessingh, site manager. “We’re shooting for the [Built Green] gold standard this year. We might go for platinum this year and see what happens, so we’re trying to be energy efficient and we’re  trying to use as many students as possible in the build.”

To keep construction costs down Habitat for Humanity uses as many students as possible from Vancouver Island University’s construction trades programs, such as the pre-apprenticeship carpentry program.

“This year we’ve also got the [VIU] heavy equipment operators program taking part with an excavator,” said Teresa Pring, Habitat for Humanity mid-Island executive director. “So we want to involve every aspect of VIU’s program, going forward … We try to involve every aspect of VIU that we can because it gives youth a chance to get a hands-on classroom right on site.”

The families that will live in the duplex have yet to be selected, Pring said.

Major donations for the 2013 build project have been secured from Coast Realty Group Nanaimo and the Royal Bank of Canada, but further donations are needed.

Donations can be made online by visiting the Habitat for Humanity website at www.habitatmvi.org, in person at the Habitat office at 1-4128 Mostar Road, or by phone at 250-758-8078.