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Habitat for Humanity completes its Sunshine Coast village after 12 years

Celebration marks significant affordable housing development completion with music, food, and heartfelt community spirit

A community gathered to celebrate and welcome their newest neighbours last weekend. 

On June 22, Habitat for Humanity hosted a block party on Chestnut Lane in ts’ukw’um (Wilson Creek) where more than 30 residents gathered along with elected representatives and guests. 

As two families move into the new homes, the event also marked the completion of the Sunshine Habitat Village, a 12-year endeavour.

With 16 homes made of six duplexes and a fourplex, the village came at the hands of hundreds of volunteers and donors.

The celebration had activities for all ages. The event included local artists, raffle prizes, food and tours of the home, as well as stilt walkers and mural painting. 

Habitat for Humanity aims to build decent and affordable homes that provide a solid foundation for local families to build better, healthier lives, a release said.

“By investing in affordable housing projects in Sechelt and across the country, we are building inclusive and accessible housing for those who need it the most,” said Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, in the release. “Together, we celebrate the completion of this development in Sechelt and wish all the families the best in their next chapter as homeowners.” The federal government has invested $260,000 toward the local group since 2019. 

Speaking to the dedicated individuals who started the project, David Taylor, Habitat for Humanity board chair said, “This is not a trivial undertaking, this is not a major commercial developer building a bunch of homes. This is a small group of highly motivated willing people who have put an enormous amount of time and effort into making this happen.”

Sechelt Mayor John Henderson welcomed the families to their homes and remarked how “communities within communities” such as this are a highlight of living in a spread out municipality like Sechelt, adding it is “building a community we can all celebrate.” 

hiwus (Calvin Craigan), a hereditary chief of shíshálh Nation and former elected chief, recalled visiting the area with his father as a child and the cultural significance of the region. 

“The reason why they came and dwelt here was because of the salmon. Chapman Creek, Mission Creek and the estuary at Port Stalashen. This is where they came to gather the food, smoke the salmon, then load it up in their canoes and head back to Pender Harbor,” he said.   

Margie Garrard of Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast remarked how the first house built on North Road by Habitat for Humanity was funded by collecting recycling and spoke fondly of the dedicated team she has worked with. 

“This amazing community is one of the largest developments done by a small community across Canada,” she said.

Garrard then presented the Jackson family, one of the two families moving in, with a ceremonial key to the neighbourhood, officially welcoming them. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.