A home of their own

Jason Miller/The Intelligencer Amanda Carr tours her new home with Bob Clute, executive director of Habitat for Humanity. Carr and her five children will move into the Golfdale Road home this summer.

BELLEVILLE – Amanda Carr is the head of one of five families Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings will put into a new home this year.

“This is surreal,” Carr said as she did a tour of the 1,240 sq. ft. Golfdale Road house she and her five children will call home come June.

The site, though still under construction with crews working feverishly to add the finishing touches in time for Carr’s move in date, is still a major step up from the crammed three bedroom mould-infested apartment Carr can’t wait to leave behind.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Sometimes I think it’s surreal that I actually have this opportunity. It’s a life changing experience.”

The arrangement, which includes a zero down payment and a no interest mortgage for 25 years, allowed Carr to acquire the house through the agency’s selection process.

“This is going to be affordable for my budget and still allow me to pay for extra curricular activities for the kids,” said the single mother who works two jobs to keep her family afloat.

Before now she lived in a transient state, with little disposable income to do much else but cover the bills. She’s moving into a five bedroom home with laundry facilities and a yard for the children to play.

“We were always moving and there was never enough space for me and my children,” she said. “It’s going to give us lots of stability.”

Providing stability for more families each year is an ambitious target set by Bob Clute, Habitat’s executive director.
“We have five families going in 2016 and it was one per year for 20 years before now and it’s the 21st year of Habitat,” Clute said of rapidly growing the agency’s inventory to 22 homes. “I think we have the capacity to build four or five homes per year.”

In order to fund that goal Clute and his team of volunteers will be hosting two fundraising events this year. The first is a golf tournament to be held at Trillium Wood Golf Club on Aug. 19, followed by a Dec. 3 gala event to be staged at the National Air Force Museum.

“We need financial help and we need volunteers,” he said.

Clute will also be soliciting municipal backing in terms of property acquisition and other supports to buoy the building of a handful of homes in 2017.