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Local Habitat group turns to community

There may be a slight slowing down, but there certainly is no stopping the local steering committee from the first Habitat for Humanity build in Corner Brook.

Linda Dumaresque, chair of Corner Brook’s Habitat for Humanity, stands on the parcel of land at 44 Petries St. where she hopes that they will break ground on the first duplex sometime in July.
Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

Its chair Linda Dumaresque says the denied request to the City of Corner Brook for additional funding to service the lot at 44 Petries Street will not stop progression of building the two duplexes. The city donated the parcel of land in the Curling area of the city, and has programs in place to waive the building permit fee and property tax for the new home owners for up to a year. She acknowledged the city has done more than its share.

It does present them with another challenge though.

Once they have the building permit — which will be submitted very soon, she said — the steering committee will begin approaching the community for volunteers and in-kind donations. While an estimate on connecting municipal water and relocating an existing storm sewer is about $33,000, Dumaresque said in-kind donations would drastically reduce that amount. Understanding such donations to Habitat for Humanity is a tax write off for businesses, she is hoping getting the support of the community will not be an issue.

Surrounding their public awareness campaign and an upcoming public information session, the committee will be seeking applications from prospective families. It is meant to assist low-income working families get a home at an affordable price through various community partners. The families also help with the build.

Dumaresque is hoping to break ground on the first duplex sometime in July, but acknowledges there could be unforseen delays. In turn, she is hoping to see families into the home by Christmas.

She has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for some seven years, and has participated in such builds before. The former Labrador West resident was hooked after the first build she was part of, after seeing the impact it has on people’s lives.

“Giving people a home ... you don’t truly realize it until you see the kids,” she said. “It is worth every hardship and every challenge you have to go through in building homes.”

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