Young family on the way home

A young family is going to get a great start in life, thanks to being chosen as the recipients of the latest Habitat for Humanity project.

John Draus and April Tuford

John Draus and April Tuford

A young family is going to get a great start in life, thanks to being chosen as the recipients of the latest Habitat for Humanity project.

At ages 22 and 21, John Draus and April Tuford, along with their one-year-old daughter Chloe, are the youngest family selected so far by the South Okanagan chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

“We feel that they are trying very hard to get a good start in life,” said Florence Barton, chair of the local Habitat group. “The baby needs a better house to live in.”

Presently, the family is living in a suite connected to a shop and were understandably surprised when they were notified that they had passed the rigorous selection process and been chosen for the third build Habitat has done since beginning local operations in 2004.

“I was shocked and I was excited to start everything,” said Tuford. “It will be nice, a brand new house.”

The house will be built on Huth Avenue in Penticton. The lot, which was donated by Hugo and Elvira Dueschle, is valued at $170,000.

Part of the agreement is that the chosen family invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of their house. That can take many forms, but Draus, a carpenter, will likely be more involved than most, though he expects he will be learning a lot from working on the house, which will incorporate many environmentally friendly features.

“I’ve been doing it for a while, but there are gong to be things like a rammed earth wall and different environmental things I have never seen before. It’s going to be a learning experience for sure,” said Draus, who presently works for Mark One Developments. “I have never seen anything like it before, just framing, that’s it. It will be interesting to see how it works.”

Barton said that Draus’ skills will be valuable as the building of the house gets underway.

“We will have a construction co-ordinator and he will set who does what, but since John is a carpenter himself, he can get very involved in it,” she said, adding that Habitat hopes to start work on the house by early June.

At present, Barton said, they are waiting for architect Cal Meiklejohn to finalize the plans before applying for a building permit.