In their daily lives, the staff at British Columbia’s WBI Home Warranty Program work hard to build the next generation of warranty protection for builders, developers and homeowners in Western Canada.
For at least one day in October however, they shifted their attention to a different kind family home protection, taking up a day of construction at the Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver townhome project in Burnaby. WBI committed to a build day with Habitat and then partnered with the Urban Development Institute (UDI), along with various members from the development industry. Ann McMullin, the new President and CEO of UDI was asked to participate in July and without reservation she accepted. At the end of their build day on October 24th, she said “Fantastic day - count me in for next year”.
In total, there were nine companies represented, volunteering their time for an excellent cause; building homes and a more secure future for six working families through Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver and the townhome project in Burnaby.
The key for Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver is to keep construction costs for these townhomes at a level that is within reach of modest income working families. This is only possible through the commitment of build-day partners and volunteers like those from WBI Home Warranty, Wilson Beck Insurance Services, UDI, TD Bank, Bosa Properties, Pottinger & Associates, Omicron, Colliers International and Burrard Group all of whom sent an employee or two from their respective company to participate in this build day.
The WBI group spent its day on two projects. On the phase six townhomes they built and installed window frames, placed bug screen around windows, repositioned the strapping for frame installation. They also assisted the plumbers & electricians by installing protective clips throughout the interior. Part of the crew were working in a second renovation project in one of the original townhome units, working primarily on painting a three bedroom townhome, along with removing drywall from the basement, removing steps and risers and installing new stairs. This renovated dwelling in the 27-unit development will be home to a new Habitat for Humanity partner family in November.
The six-unit townhome project will be ready for occupancy by partner families early in 2013. They are eligible to move in with no down-payment and a no-interest mortgage, and with monthly payments tied to no more than 30 percent of the family’s income. The Habitat for Humanity model places home ownership within reach of modest income working families, despite the high cost of land and real estate in Metro Vancouver.
Bobby Colburn of WBI, who coordinated the Build day through Habitat and arranged for the volunteers said: “This really didn’t feel like work, it was fun, while it was manual labour that most of us don’t do on a day to day basis, it was something special. Having the opportunity to work with such a great and diverse group of people who came from various development and financial organizations was amazing. Knowing that we are making a difference and helping out for a brief period of time is very rewarding”.
Bobby went on to say that they had been looking for such an opportunity to be involved in the community and hopes to maintain a long relationship with Habitat for Humanity. “The relationships that we formed today will last a lifetime and we would encourage anyone who wants to give back, be involved and care about their community to get involved with Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver” said Bobby.
WBI Home Warranty outlines its mandate as “providing the next generation of home warranty now”. They describe their service as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for builders, developers, and building envelope renovators. Their full line of warranty protection services includes a building envelope remediation warranty, deposit insurance and deposit bonds. This comprehensive program provides developers, builders, renovators and homeowners with security and peace of mind for years to come.