Rheanna Scott shows off the kitchen in her new Home Avenue home.
0 Percent for 6 Years on 2013 RVR's and OutlandersGood things don't last forever and the deals on these vehicles won't either. Visit Thunder Bay Mitsubishi today!www.thunderbaymitsubishi.ca
Rheanna Scott has always wanted a home to call her own.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.
The dream only intensified when her son, Aiden, was born prematurely and faced a myriad of medical problems, intensified by taking him home to live in an apartment, where smoke drifted under the doors and air quality was poor.
The respiratory issues that afflicted the newborn made him sick more often, which meant he couldn’t go to daycare, forcing Scott, a single mom, to take time off work to care for him.
Rather than being able to save to make her homeownership dream come true, she struggled to get by and put her hopes on hold.
But on Monday, everything changed.
Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay’s Diane Mitchell handed Scott the keys to her new Home Avenue residence, the 23rd family to take possession of a home since the program first arrived in Thunder Bay.
“The volunteers are amazing,” said Scott, who put plenty of her own sweat equity into building the two-story, two-bedroom 1,100 square foot single-detached dwelling.
“They never took any time off. I think they spent more time with me than their own family. Having this home means so much. Having stability for my son and having a healthy, safe environment and a nice big backyard and not stuck in an apartment (is great) and I’m very thankful for everything everyone has done.”
A total of 3,094 volunteer hours spread between about 1,000 volunteers were spend building the home, which is paid for up front by Habitat for Humanity, who then provides an affordable, interest-free mortgage, tied to their income, for the homeowner. Scott will pay 25 per cent of her income to cover the mortgage and property taxes. The property itself was donated by a local couple.
“Being a single mother, like anybody knows, when you’re a single parent it’s hard and you struggle trying to save money. So I knew I was never really going to be able to afford it,” Scott said. “Possibly down the line if I worked maybe 10 million jobs, I would have been.
“But I would like to spend more time with my son. So with this organization, it helps you make that lifelong dream come true, have a home, but still be able to go to work and spend time with your son.”
Several companies, including Bombardier, Toromont CAT, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, HGS Canada, Superior Propane and Superior Credit Union volunteered employees for at least one day to complete the project.
Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay CEO Diane Mitchell said it always feels great to turn the keys over to a new homeowner, especially this one, which happened to change hands on World Habitat Day.
Families shouldn’t have to choose between food and rent,” Mitchell said.
“We don’t want any family to have to make those decisions, and that’s what Habitat for Humanity does, is to help families build a better future to get out of poverty.”