Construction starts on new Habitat home

Habitat for Humanity Estevan’s chapter is going to proceed with a new home in the city this year, even though the organization is still short the money it needs to complete the project.

In an interview with the Mercury, local chapter president Doug Barnstable said they recently had a conference call with their affiliate in Regina. The Estevan committee stressed their desire to get a family into a new home in 2019.

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“We looked at a couple of options, one being to split the build to do as much as we could this year with the funds that we had, and then finish the rest in the spring, but that doesn’t obviously get a family into the home until next year.”

Habitat in Regina has agreed to provide Estevan’s chapter with $45,000 in interim financing to cover the costs that they don’t have the funds for yet. It will allow them to build the home this year, and then complete some tasks in the spring that can be delayed, such as the driveway, sod, fencing and other exterior needs.

If the committee waited until next year to begin construction, then the home wouldn’t have been completed until next summer.

Barnstable hopes the committee won’t need the full $45,000 from the Regina chapter because of the tasks that can be deferred to the spring, and they have some fundraisers planned.

A couple of barbecues will happen Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Southern Plains Co-op’s Estevan grocery store. There will also be a poker tournament and a cash calendar draw in the fall, along with other initiatives that have yet to be finalized.

While a poker tournament earlier this year did not do well, a previous edition was successful, and the cash calendar has also been well-supported in the past.

“We’re going to take a little longer to sell the tickets on the first cash calendar,” said Barnstable.

He expects the basement will be dug this week, and construction on the home will begin soon.

“Hopefully we can have everything in by Christmas in order to get the family in before the end of the year,” he said.

Barnstable is not certain if this has happened with another Habitat chapter previously, but he pointed out the Regina chapter can take this step at their discretion if they believe it would be a benefit to be in the home sooner.

The Estevan chapter really wanted to get a home constructed this year.

“Regina is obviously concerned about getting families into homes … and this is one way to help us get ours in 2019.”  

He is confident that the chapter will be able to complete construction on the house this year.

“Once we get it closed in, the majority of the work will be on the interior. Once we get the siding and the shingles on, we should be able to work on the interior for the rest of the term. I hope we’ll be able to have the roof and the siding and so on completed by the end of September, and then we’ll be able to start on some of the interior drywall in the floor and basement. That will leave us a good three months to finish up.”

A partner family for the latest build has yet to be determined, but Barnstable expects that will happen shortly.

“They’ll be reviewing the selections from the Estevan selection committee group, and then they’ll make the decision and arrange for the announcement as soon as they can,” he said.

The partner family will be tasked with providing sweat equity to help with the construction of the home.

The chapter is still looking for volunteers who can assist with the latest build. While they have a good list of volunteers to call on from when their first home was built in 2017, they can always use more, as people’s schedules do not always mesh with the work availability at the site.

The committee will be contacting volunteers in the seven to 10 days following excavation completion and installation of footings to work on framing the basement and the main floor. 

The home will be located on Sillers Street in the Matchett Bay subdivision in northwest Estevan, next to the first home that Habitat for Humanity constructed locally. The local Habitat chapter has to construct a new home at least once every three years.

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