Habitat home to be built in Kinkora

Meeting set for March 5 to detail plans, get public approval

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on February 24, 2014
The McCarvill family — Colleen and her children Morgan, 9, Emma, 7, and Will, 1 — have been approved for a Habitat for Humanity home, which will likely begin construction in June in Kinkora. It will be the first Habitat home in that community.
Submitted photo

KINKORA — A Habitat for Humanity home could soon be built in Kinkora.

Susan Zambonin, executive director for Habitat for Humanity P.E.I., said that single mother, Colleen McCarvill, is the successful applicant, and that the community is close to giving final approval to the project.

In fact, said Zambonin, the community is donating a lot of land for the home, pending the approval of the move at a public meeting on March 5.

“They qualified and were approved just before Christmas. We went to the town council and asked if they would donate a piece of land and they have approved that. It just has to be ratified by the community members,” explained Zambonin. “Then, once that is all done, we plan to build there this summer.”

McCarvill is the mother of three young children – Morgan, 9, Emma, 7, and Will, 1.

Since 1999, Habitat for Humanity has been building homes on Prince Edward Island.

To date, 41 homes have been built for low-income families that successful met the organization’s criteria.

“There are three basic criteria – need, ability to repay a mortgage and willingness to partner,” said Zambonin. “The families do 500 hours of sweat equity, that’s their willingness to partner. The other ability to pay, they need to earn a certain amount based on their family size. The minimum annual income is $23,228. The maximum is based on their family size.”

Homes have been built in Charlottetown, Summerside, Kensington, Nine Mile Creek, Long Creek, Stratford and Souris. The hope this year is to build at least three homes.

“We have two other families, one that we are going to be buying back the house from the partner family who wants to sell it and we are going to put one of our families in that house,” said Zambonin. “The house that we built last year in Nine Mile Creek, she got engaged just as we were finishing the house and didn’t have need for the house any longer, we just put a family in there.”

She added, “We expect that we will approve at least another three or four families and build five and house an additional two.

Families are approved anonymously based on the criteria set out. After that, the organization learns more about the family and their situation.

“Our previous partner families who are making mortgage payments will pay for the construction of almost two houses this year, alone, without any other support.

It’s that pay it forward thing,” said Zambonin. “We can build pretty close to two houses without fundraising. Then, we should easily be able to fundraise for another three or four houses. Now it is just a matter of finding those families.”

It should take a month, working six days a week, to build the one-story home, which will be constructed on a concrete slab in an existing subdivision in Kinkora.

Volunteers have already come together to help with the project and established the Facebook group, 2014 Kinkora Build — Habitat for Humanity.

“This committee is essentially a group of volunteers that want to help us locally make the build happen. That’s what their role is,” said Zambonin, adding they help co-ordinate meals and volunteers during the build. “It’s great to have all of them there. They know everybody in the community. They are the people on the ground. That’s wonderful.”

The public meeting, where Habitat for Humanity will talk about its work and the community council outlines the project, goes March 5 at 7 p.m. at Kinkora Place.

Once the final approval is giving, ground should be broken in June and the McCarvill family in their new home before the start of the next school year.

“We will sign a deed over to her and she will sign a mortgage to us. At that point we become the bank,” said Zambonin. “It’s a wonderful feeling, it’s the reason you get out of bed in the morning and come to work and work the long hours that you do. Home ownership is really what makes the difference to low-income families. They have something that they own that they can build equity in.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity P.E.I., to learn about becoming a homeowner or to volunteer, visit habitatpei.ca.