Over $100K and skilled work still needed at N.B. Habitat House

By Greg Higgins
October 25, 2017 - 4:45pm

The keys may have been handed over, but not only is there still physical work to be done; $100,000 is still needed to pay for the Habitat for Humanity House in North Battleford.

After over a year of delays two families have now been living in North Battleford’s first Habitat for Humanity house for three months now. The delays in getting the duplex fit for living created a snowball of problems which are still being dealt with by board members.  

Cathy Richardson is on the board for the project. She thanked everyone who helped get the house to the point where families could move in, but doesn’t want the community to forget about them as there is still quite a bit of work to be done including the outside fence and trim inside the house.

“At this point, with these finishing touches we need skilled volunteers to help out,” Richardson said. “Maybe not so much for the fence as we would need a crew, but we want to make sure we are doing it right. I was given some direction on how to finish the fence by our site foreman but I’d like someone with carpentry experience to make sure we don’t waste any materials.”

Richardson hopes along with volunteers the weather will hold up to finish off the fencing outside. As for the inside of the house, she said things are a bit uncomfortable for the families.

“In one of the houses we have baseboard laying around, which is pretty long and it is laying out in the middle of her rumpus room. It’s probably kind of a pain for them. There are things they have to keep in their storage room like drills and other tools we need to finish the house. Hopefully we can get everything done for them before too much longer.”

Perhaps the more glaring problem is the amount of money still needed to pay off the house. Richardson said over $100,000 is still needed. She contributes the amount to the delays in the project, adding the foreman had to be paid for an additional six months and materials they budgeted for two years ago have gone up in price since.

Richardson said the board has a couple of ideas on how to raise funds. The first is a campaign launching this Christmas where people can buy donation gifts in someone else’s name.

“It is the perfect idea for those people you just don’t know what to get,” Richardson said. “They will receive a charitable gift receipt and know money is going towards a really good cause.”

Richardson said another idea in the works is a charity concert, but added she knows the community will come through as they always do.

“When we came away from the meeting and we found out how much money we needed to raise I was in the depths of despair a little bit. Then the first person I talked to about it came back to me five minutes later with an envelope with $50 in it. It is just amazing that people want to support and be behind causes like this.”

Richardson added anyone interested in donating outside of fundraising campaigns can do so on the project's Facebook page.

Another plot of land was already donated for the next house in North Battleford. Richardson said board members aren’t even thinking about the next one with all the work still needed on the current duplex.

She added this project has been a big learning curve for everyone involved. Richardson said the next one will go a lot smoother as the board will make sure they raise sufficient funds and have enough volunteers lined up to complete the project before shovels hit the ground.

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