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Habitat taking applications in January

The Cranbrook Habitat for Humanity project will start accepting applications for the first Habitat home in the community in January.

The location for the new home is in the Slaterville neighbourhood. The application process will include interviews in January and then the final selection will be decided in February.

The Habitat for Humanity Canada homes are built by volunteers using donations.

Gord Johnston, who is project leader and chair of the Cranbrook project, explained that the families are carefully selected and it is a misunderstanding that homes are given away.

"We partner with a family in need, who will hold a no-interest mortgage, to provide them with an opportunity for home ownership they may not otherwise be able to achieve," Johnston said.

The city donated the lot at 217 Crestbrook Avenue for the project, which is being run by the Habitat for Humanity West Kootenay affiliate. The build is being organized by the Adopt-a-Home Cranbrook committee.

Johnston said there has been a good number of people and businesses that have come forward wanting to offer donations of goods and services.

But he said they are also in need of cash donations for some of the building materials, tools for volunteers and expenses not covered by donors.

And because Habitat for Humanity is a registered non-profit society, it is able to issue tax receipts for donations.

Once started, the build will be lead by Jim Bennett, a local retired contractor. Bennett hopes to start the project in April.

"We've made a few changes to the original plans in order for the home to better fit the configuration of the lot," Bennett said. "We've also upgraded to double walls and triple-paned windows for energy efficiency and to suit our Cranbrook climate."

Contributors so far include BC Hydro, the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation, Regional District of East Kootenay, the City of Cranbrook and RBC Royal Bank of Canada, as well as a number of businesses and individuals around town.

Habitat for Humanity Canada affiliates work to select and prepare partner families for homeownership. Affiliates also manage the construction of the homes and hold partner family no interest mortgages.

From January 2, application forms can be picked up from local service agencies and the Salvation Army office in Cranbrook, at 533 Slater Road NW. The application can also be downloaded off the website www.habitatwk.ca and mailed to PO Box 336 Cranbrook, V1C 4H8.

For more information or to get involved go to: www.habitatwk.ca and click on Cranbrook Project.

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