Ryan and Aisling no longer feel trapped in housing that feels unsafe for their family
Ryan, Aisling and their daughter are ready to spread the word about Habitat and help pay it forward.
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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.
Aisling had been searching desperately for a way to find better housing for her young family. Feeling trapped in their one-bedroom rental apartment, concerned for both her daughter’s health and their safety.
“We live in an older complex; the landlord is absent and the building manager receives little support, making it so hard to make any kind of improvement here,” said Aisling. The top-floor apartment is in a building with poor ventilation that allows smoking. It also gets very hot in the summer, there are issues with pests and there is no sense of community as neighbours change frequently. “When we walk out of our door we just don’t know who we are going to run into,” she added.
Over the last few years, and particularly since the birth of their little girl, both Ryan and Aisling have become increasingly concerned. “There are issues with substance abuse, unauthorized access and intimidation. This is not the environment I want for my family,” shared Ryan.
Ryan has worked for a local Island company for the last fifteen years. “It’s a great place to work and they do a lot for the community. Aisling and I met there.” Aisling, who has struggled with lifelong health issues which make it difficult to maintain regular work as an administrator, looks after their daughter while Ryan is working.
The family spends a lot of time outdoors, going for walks and doing things away from the apartment. “When the COVID restrictions started our daughter was just one so she has not really been able to socialize. Our bubble is small because of the health risks, just my mum and brother, until things start to get back to normal. We go and play in Mum’s yard, where it’s safe. They are a great support,” said Aisling.
Ryan’s family is also local and, for him, maintaining these connections and supports is so important. He is looking forward to being able to welcome them all to their new home without feeling ashamed. “We were both raised right here on the Island and we love spending time as a group. I can’t wait to be able to have them over!”
Both Ryan and Aisling felt like a weight had been lifted when they found Habitat. “Our life had been on pause, we just didn’t know how to navigate all the uncertainty. We feel so relieved to be joining a new community, a safe place where we can put down roots and where our daughter can make friends.”
When asked about the impact of Habitat Victoria’s program, Ryan said, “Our community should want young families to be able to stay in the city as they are part of building the future. What felt impossible for us to do alone, living paycheque to paycheque, hoping something would change, became possible when we found Habitat. Now we want to spread the word and pay it forward by letting other families know there is hope out there and people willing to help.”