I would like to respond to the Sound Off comments about the unoccupied government house on Rosser Avenue East.
The STEPP (Solutions To End Poverty Permanently) is built in partnership with Canada Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC) and the Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP). BEEP is an employment training program for individuals with limited work experience and low education levels.
To date, 78 trainees have benefited in the BEEP program with 21 currently employed in the construction field, seven trainees returned to enhance their education and 19 are currently in the program involved in building three additional STEPP homes and a variety of community projects.
This being the first STEPP house built, it has taken longer to build as well as establish fair policies for the selection of a family. The Brandon Affordable Housing Corporation (BAHC) composed of representatives from 12 not-for-profit community organizations including aboriginal, immigrant and non-aboriginal community representatives and the BAHC has agreed to serve as the selection committee for the four STEPP homes being built on Rosser Ave East.
The first family has been selected and recently approved for a mortgage. This family is making arrangements to move into the first STEPP house in the near future. Construction is well underway on the other STEPP homes and we are looking for a January completion for STEPP home No. 2 and a spring completion for STEPP homes No. 3 and No. 4.
The STEPP home has received government support similar to other housing projects for low income earners however the family selected will build equity over time and will have one mortgage at approximately $150,000.
The appraised value for STEPP home No. 1 is $230,000 and the homeowner will share in this equity. The Brandon Energy Efficiency Program has incorporated energy measures including R40 insulated basement walls, above ground walls R30, Ceiling R50, triple pane windows, energy efficient appliances and water heater plus low flow shower and toilets’ to create a very environmental friendly home with low operational energy and water costs for the homeowner.
The home was designed by the Crocus Plains graphic design class, local electrical and plumbing companies worked with the BEEP program through all building stages and all building materials were purchased from local Brandon companies.
The BAHC will be accepting applications for STEPP home No. 2 and I recommend you contact Beth Clark, housing co-ordinator at the BNRC 204-729-2493 for an application.
For more information about the STEPP home program and all BNRC community programs and services you are welcome to attend the BNRC annual general meeting Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the main foyer of Brandon City Hall at 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m.