Kelly Edwards returned on Friday.
Sarnia’s wife and daughter, Piper Burd, 10, officially handed over their keys to their house on Bright Street by Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton at a ceremony on the new back porch of the house that had been demolished “at the posts” ”and completely renovated
It was the 60th affordable housing unit that the local subsidiary of Habitat for Humanity has completed in Sarnia-Lambton since 1994. In addition to paying a 20-year mortgage adapted to the income held by Habitat Sarnia-Lambton, each Habitat family contributes 500 hours of volunteer time to charity.
“The trip was long, but it was incredible,” said Edwards. “The people of Habitat are very welcoming.”
Dave Waters, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton, said, “It has been a long time for Kelly and we are pleased to finally be able to complete this project.”
Edwards applied for Habitat for Humanity in 2017.
“It took him three years to get here,” said Waters. “We are just proud to have finally finished, among all the things that are going on, and she is finally able to start her new life here.”
Edward said, “It was worth the wait.”
She said that becoming a homeowner was not something she probably could have done without Habitat for Humanity.
“Sometimes with a single income, you go from month to month,” she said. Once the bills are paid, “there is not much left”.
Piper enters 5th grade in the fall.
“I know she now has a safe home,” said Edwards. “I wanted her to be safe and have a house in which she could be proud to grow up.”
The Bright Street site closed for a while during COVID-19 restrictions and supplies were “a bit risky” sometimes after work on the house resumed, “but, it all came together”, said Waters.
Habitat bought the house on Bright Street some time ago. “It was in pretty bad shape,” said Waters. “To be honest, it was the house of a hoarder.”
There were also broken water pipes in the basement, but Habitat cleaned up the house and decided to renovate, which is an approach that the charity takes more often these days due to the cost building land and installation of services, said Waters.
“What it is today is a brand new house, right from the amounts,” he said. Habitat will install a new roof in the fall, he added.
Work on the house started in September when the United Way, on its annual care day, provided a team of 18 volunteers from Nova Chemicals who completed the interior demolition in one day, said Water.
There were “dumpsters after leaving the aisle here,” he said. “It was truly a sight to behold.”
Work was scheduled to begin on Monday on four new Habitat houses in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, and on July on a house to be built in Petrolia, said Waters.