Our Town

Family chosen for Habitat home

The Berry family get a lift on an AJC Construction excavator at the site of their future home. Parents David and Coreena Berry hold the Habitat for Humanity banner while children (left to right) Hanna, 11, Jordan, 8, Alysha, 10, and Samantha, 16 months, show off their hardhats.  - Submitted
The Berry family get a lift on an AJC Construction excavator at the site of their future home. Parents David and Coreena Berry hold the Habitat for Humanity banner while children (left to right) Hanna, 11, Jordan, 8, Alysha, 10, and Samantha, 16 months, show off their hardhats.
— image credit: Submitted

A family of six will soon be able to move into a brand new home after being selected as the family partner for Cranbrook's first Habitat for Humanity build.

David and Coreena Berry and their four children, Hanna, 11, Alysha, 10, Jordan, 8, and Samantha, 16 months, have been chosen as the successful applicants for the home, which will be built this summer in Slaterville.

Started in Georgia in 1976, Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that works alongside those in need to build houses for low-income families.

Two years ago, a Cranbrook group began working with West Kootenay Habitat for Humanity to support the first Habitat build in the East Kootenay.

The City of Cranbrook donated a piece of land in Slaterville, and different local organizations pitched in financial aid to get the project off the ground.

Built using donated time and materials, the home is a collaboration between the community and the selected family partner.

The family partner is a low-income family who would otherwise not be able to afford to buy a home. In exchange for promising 500 hours of sweat equity on building their home and others in the community, the new homeowner gets an interest free, no down payment mortgage on the home.

A selection committee comprised of Jill Johnston, Gord Harder and Stu Deeks met with five families in Cranbrook over the past three months before selecting the Berry family for the project.

"It was a thorough and rigorous process," said Jill Johnston. "The three of us approached the task from divergent points of view and we all agreed on the final recommendation. We believe the application process resulted in the selection of the best family partner for this project. The family were elated when we shared the news of the board's approval."

The board of directors for Habitat for Humanity West Kootenay approved the family earlier this month.

Work on the Slaterville lot has already begun, with project manager Darrell Bohmer of AJC Construction starting site preparation on April 5.

Plans are underway to unite Habitat affiliates in Nelson, Castlegar, Grand Forks and the Cranbrook group in one larger organization, Habitat for Humanity Southeast B.C. That would mean more builds in the East Kootenay.

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