Photo: Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Victoria gave a family the keys to their new home in Central Saanich during an official ceremony this week.

Construction on the house began last Fall and was completed in April.

It was a magical day for the home’s owner.

“Owning a home has always been a goal of mine. I really want my boys to have a real sense of community and belonging,” said Sarah, the newest Habitat homeowner and purchaser of the home.

“We are very excited to start this new chapter of our lives.”

The single-family home is on a extra small lot donated by Cube Project Management as part of the Polo Village Development on East Saanich Road.

“This build was only made possible due to the donation of land as part of the Polo Village development,” said Habitat Victoria CEO Yolanda Meijer.

“Partnerships with developers like this, supported by municipal leaders, is how our charity will be able to continue to provide access to affordable home ownership in one of the least affordable markets in the country.”

Families in Habitat’s Homeownership Program purchase their home at its full fair market value.

Habitat’s program makes owning these entry-level homes possible by removing the need to make a down payment and financing the purchase through a no-interest mortgage.

Monthly payments are set annually to ensure they do not exceed 30% of the family’s gross household income.

Habitat assesses each applicant family based on three key criteria:

 Willingness to partner with Habitat, including a contribution of 500 hours of “sweat equity”
volunteering;
 Meeting the financial criteria (ability to re-pay the interest free loan); and
 Living in need – their current home is not suitable or is unsafe.

The organization says the project was also supported by a grant from BC Housing and with the help of the District of Central Saanich.

Money raised during the annual Gingerbread Showcase fundraiser also went towards building the home.

Habitat for Humanity says another Central Saanich Habitat home will get underway later this year on a lot donated by Gary Lunn as part of an 18-unit development on Veyaness.

Photo: Habitat for Humanity

Ben O'Hara