Thamesville future Habitat for Humanity site

·2 min read

Residents likely noticed a sign pop up on Elizabeth Street recently marking the lot as a future Habitat for Humanity home in Thamesville.

But it’s anyone’s guess when construction might start – first, a family has to be found.

“At this time there are no set dates or a timeline on when a home will be built on that specific property,” says Kaitlyn Ferren, chair of the family services committee with Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent.

“But we are looking for potential homeowners and hopefully in the near future we could put a family in a home on that property in Thamesville.”

The Chatham-Kent affiliate owns several properties throughout the municipality and typically builds one home a year. So it could be awhile before Thamesville is selected as a destination. This year the group is completing a home in Wallaceburg after the project was delayed a year due to COVID.

Ferren says the number of applicants has gone up during the pandemic and offered some thoughts on why that might be.

“Housing affordability across the community and across the province is a changing need… Over the past year and a half we did the online assessment which I think made our referral process more accessible across the community,” she says.

Ferren says the organization is happy to see people interested in the project. There’s three main requirements for families wishing to apply, one being demonstrated need such as living in poorly maintained housing.

Families must also have an income of around $22,000 to support a no-interest mortgage and be willing to contribute 500 hours of volunteer service. This is usually spent helping build the house, but can also be fulfilled through work in the ReStore or office duties.

Qualifying families are then contacted to discuss where the best location for them would be. And though it could be a few years, when the answer is Thamesville construction will begin on a brand new Elizabeth Street home.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent

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