Sidney family gets a home for the holidays

Family finds a place to live in a Habitat for Humanity house in the community.

  • Dec. 11, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Ryleigh and Tanya Martin outside the home. Ryleigh said she loves her new home.

Christmas will be a little bit homier this year for the Martin family of Sidney.

They are the latest family to take possession of a home from Habitat for Humanity and they couldn’t be more pleased.

“I can finally have a real bath knowing that there’s going to be hot water,” said Tanya Martin. “At the old place that we were renting the hot water wasn’t consistent, and there wasn’t a proper bathtub, so it was sort of tough, especially on the kids.”

There was also the problem of no insulation in the walls and a distinct lack of space.

“Now all three kids get their own bedroom and Ryleigh couldn’t be happier,” said Tanya.

Ryleigh is the youngest of the Martin’s three children.

According to Yolanda Meijer, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Victoria, that’s what the program is all about. Meijer and a group of well-wishers were on hand on Saturday morning to officially turn over the home to the Martin family.

“This is the eighteenth home that we’ve turned over in the Greater Victoria region and we have plans for a lot more,” said Meijer. “It’s a way to give people a chance for decent shelter … a way for them to help themselves.”

Meijer stressed that Habitat homes are not in any way charity.

The program is designed to allow families who would not qualify for a traditional mortgage to buy the home at fair market value from Habitat with an interest free mortgage.

“The amortization is flexible and changes with household income,” said Meijer. “We set a cap of 30 per cent of income for shelter and the payments are based on that formula.”

In order to qualify for a Habitat home, families must also contribute 500 hours of sweat equity into the construction of the next home for another family.

But the Resthaven Avenue house that the Martin family is making their home is not a newly-constructed structure.

It was actually built in 2008 and sold to another Habitat family.

“That family’s life circumstances changed and they no longer required the Habitat program. In cases like that, the families can sell the home back to Habitat and use the equity that they’ve built up in the home. We then refurbish the house and turn it over to a new family … giving them a hand-up to affordable home ownership,” said Meijer.

Anyone interested in making a donation or volunteering for Habitat Victoria can contact them at 250-480-7688, or for more information go to their website at www.habitatvictoria.com.

— Tim Collins/News staff

Just Posted

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

UVic project shows Keating Elementary students a helping hand

Victoria Hand Project offers free 3D printed arms in eight countries

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read