The Habitat for Humanity modular house in Hay River has been placed onto pilings and will be ready for a family to move in the spring. Photo: Steve Anderson
Habitat for Humanity NWT has relaunched its application process for a three bedroom modular home in Hay River for the third time.
The first round of applications closed in March, and the second in July. This newest round does not appear to have a hard deadline, with the move-in date listed as “spring 2023.”
A press release issued by the organization says that while they heard from several eligible families over the course of the spring and summer, the applicants ending up dropping out.
“While we had several people who applied during the last application round and met the eligibility criteria, we were unable to select a Habitat partner family due to the fact some applicants moved out of town or found alternate housing and withdrew from the application process,” said Dave Hurley, president of NWT chapter.
Habitat for Humanity offers prospective homeowners a mortgage that is no more than 30% of their household income, no down payment and no interest on mortgage payments. While the typical applicant may not qualify for a conventional bank mortgage, they are still required to demonstrate that total household gross annual income is at least $65,000 in order to keep up with maintenance, mortgage payments, and property taxes.
Other criteria include being a Canadian citizen, having lived in the NWT for at least two years preceding application, having children under the age of 18 or other dependents, and willingness to complete 500 hours of volunteering.
The application is a fairly straightforward three stage process: there’s the online form, a credit check and proof of employment, and finally an in-person home visit.
Why aren’t there enough applicants?
Alayna Ward, executive director of Habitat NWT, thinks the main issue has just been getting the word out.
“When we first launched in Yellowknife in 2004, we started with eight or nine applications, and then last year, we got over 50,” Ward said. “So I think it’s just a matter of people realizing, ‘Oh, hey, this could be my house. I’m eligible and why don’t I apply?’ It’s brand new in Hay River and lots of people haven’t heard of it. They don’t know what Habitat for Humanity is, they don’t know that they’re eligible.”
Now that over 10 months have passed since the initial announcement, the mobile house is onsite and has been placed onto pilings. While more work has yet to be done on the interior and building decking, skirting, and connection to water and power, Ward says families are welcome to drive past and see the site, which is located at 17-102 street on Vale Island in Hay River.
“We want as many people to apply as possible because ultimately our goal is really to have a new family in there to call it home.”
For more information about eligibility and the online application form, head to the Habitat NWT website.