Family moving into first of planned 10 houses in neighbourhood
Heidi Fortune still held the key to her new home as her daughter eight-year-old daughter Jayla ran from room to room, and visitors filtered through the doorway to have a look.
She had just been handed the keys by the project’s community steering committee co-chairs Jordan Burkhardt and Trish Stewart in a special ceremony hosted by Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia.
“It feels amazing to be a homeowner,” said Fortune, watching her smiling daughter and waiting for 10-year-old son Isaiah to arrive. “I’ve been waiting a long time to give them a sense of stability.”
The new home on Little River Road is the first of 10 affordable homes planned for the neighbourhood, a development announced last September. The Habitat for Humanity project proceeded with support from Housing Nova Scotia, the Town of Oxford, and Oxford Frozen Foods, as well as CORCAN, the rehabilitation program of the Correctional Service of Canada.
Fortune and her extended family have so far put in 125 of the committed 500 hours of hard work to the project, all while she has been raising her family, working and going to school. The family moved in on Sunday after hosting an open house at the home on Thursday evening and all day Friday and Saturday.
Habitat for Humanity home ownership is all about strength, stability and self-reliance, according to Marie-France LeBlanc, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia.
“A strong, stable home will build a strong, stable family and a strong, stable community,” she said. “This is the first of 10 homes we hope to have on this land here, which will be a huge addition to this community.”
The project to build this home has been underway for the past six months, but the idea of building affordable housing on the former school property along Little River Road is one that has been developing for the past six years, according to Stewart, who is also mayor of Oxford.
“Since 2009 we have been slowly etching away at this dream of a Habitat community here in our town, and today here we are,” she said. “One house at a time, and our community is growing. We’re giving working families a chance to succeed.”
Families for Habitat for Humanity homes are selected on the basis of need, their ability to repay a no down payment, no-interest mortgage, and their commitment to volunteer 500 hours of sweat equity toward their home and community.
The plan is to build two homes per year over four years.
Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia CEO Marie-France LeBlanc announces the completion of the first of 10 planned affordable new homes in Oxford while community steering committee co-chair Jordan Burkhardt looks on with homeowner Heidi Fortune and six-year-old daughter Jayla.
Heidi Fortune and her six-year-old daughter Jayla accepted the keys to their new home from the Habitat for Humanity project’s community steering committee members Jordan Burkhardt and Trish Stewart during a ceremony at the home on Thursday, April 7.