Habitat for Humanity families complete Sweat Equity hours

By Tanya Cronin
February 8, 2018 - 4:43pm Updated: February 8, 2018 - 5:26pm

KAMLOOPS — They have put hundreds of hours of their own time into helping volunteers build their home. Two Kamloops families set to move into the newest Habitat for Humanity duplex, have completed 500 hours of Sweat Equity and are now one step closer to moving in. 

The families have worked at Habitat's ReStore and even lent a hand on-site. Today, both families got a chance to walk through the space on Westsyde Road, which is expected to be completed by April.   

One of the recipients of the duplex is Krystine Watson and her family. Happiness, comfort, relief, and the fresh start they have always dreamed of. 

"Stability, just being able to be some place and not have to keep moving, it's what it means," says Krystine Watson.

Over the years, the Watsons have been forced to move six times. But in just a few months, Krystine, her husband, and four young children will move into this Kamloops duplex. Habitat for Humanity making it all possible.

"Especially with little ones always having to pack up and they have to adjust to a new home, new area and now to just be safe as well."

The Watsons are one of two families set to move into the duplex being constructed along Westsyde Road, this spring. Based on the non-profit's model of making home ownership possible for those earning between $34,000 and $52,000 a year.

"It makes it very affordable, and at the same time they pay a mortgage that is 30% of their wages, whatever their wages are, so they're able to actually own a home and we believe it helps families move up the economic scale and it breaks the cycle of poverty," says Kim Cassar Torreggiani, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Kamloops.

For Scott Harris, his wife and five children the opportunity couldn't come at a better time.

"We were kind of at the point in life where we weren't sure if we were going to be able to own a home or do the traditional martgage thing, but Habitat's been incredible since the start, they've helped us get through this whole thing," says Scott Harris.

Together Habitat for Humanity is building this home with a team of volunteers The families were required to pitch in as well, completing 500 hours of Sweat Equity, before taking on a mortgage with no money down.

"This really makes a difference in terms of the famlies committment to this home, it's almost like a down payment those hours to us, and we also think it helps to embrace the community," says Cassar Torreggiani.

The Watsons and Harris families feel they've won the homeownership lottery amidst rising housing costs in this province. Both can't wait to call this 1200 square foot, open concept space, home sweet home.   

"We've never owned a home before, the girls get to share a room and William will get his own room, so that's nice," says Watson.

"More than one bathroom for seven of us so that's always a bonus, it's going to be exciting," says Harris.

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