A new beginning with room to grow! - Christina and John's Habitat story
Christina, John and their two children are looking forward to having enough room to play, learn and grow together.
Please consider making a donation to Habitat Victoria's latest build projects today. Your support will help more local families build strength, stability and independence through our affordable homeownership program and contribute toward the building of eleven new Habitat homes over the coming year. We hope that all of our new partner families will find support and friendship with their neighbours and be part of building a stronger community.
Christina, John and their two children live in a tiny two-bedroom basement suite less than 650 sq ft in size. The unit is so small that each time the children want to play everything else in the place has to be moved. “It’s a constant juggling act to make the space work,” says Christina. “There is just enough room for furniture and that’s about it.” And now that the children are getting older, sharing a bedroom will become more challenging.
John came to the Island from Coquitlam when he was eighteen and fell in love. “My plan was to explore more places, but when I arrived on Vancouver Island I realised I had everything I needed right here,” recalls John. “Wherever you are, you are always close to the ocean…I can’t imagine wanting to live anywhere else.” He has been working in construction in the local area for almost 25 years and has watched the community grow over that time.
Christina and John live just four blocks from the new Habitat construction site in North Saanich. About a year ago, they attended an information session in Sidney about Habitat’s program and learned the charity was searching for local families in need of decent housing. “It was my Mom who sent us the information,” said Christina. “We had never considered that homeownership could be an option for us in our community.”
Like many families in a precarious rental situation, the family had a scare a couple of years ago when they thought the property owner might sell the home they lived in. The prospect of finding another affordable unit in the area seemed daunting, let alone being able to purchase a home. “To be faced with the possibility that we could no longer stay in the community where we have lived for eighteen years, where we have so many good friends and where everyone supports each other was just devastating.”
The family was delighted and truly humbled to be accepted into the Habitat program. Both John and Christina feel they will now be able to feel settled and save for the future. “It’s so good to actually be paying into something that is ours…it gives us hope,” says John. “Working in construction for so many years, I now have the opportunity to help build my own home and the homes of other families in Habitat's program.”
The family will be moving in to a three-bedroom home in our North Saanich development at Bakerview Place and are excited by the community that is being created. “We have met many of our future neighbours while volunteering on the job site and it’s been great to work with everyone.” And it’s not just the parents that are enthusiastic about their new home! Their son is looking forward to having his own room and is really happy to be able to stay in his current school. “The kids are all around the same age, so he can’t wait to find a buddy,” added Christina. “He is so excited, he has already applied to become the paperboy for the new development!”