From a park to a house

Habitat for Humanity single family dwellings like this one have popped up all over Prince Albert, but a pair of former members are hoping to develop town houses for the organization, which they say are more cost-effective. -- Herald file photo.

A pair of former Habitat for Humanity members are looking to turn some un-used space into low-income housing units, but they need city approval to do it.

Former Habitat president Morris Sawchuk and former board member Vic Lemieux are hoping to take an unused park in the West Flat and build roughly 15 housing units along 13th Street West, just off sixth avenue. The land currently sits empty, but used to be the site of a park and a minor baseball diamond.

Sawchuck said the project will help control costs for both families and Habitat for Humanity, while putting an unused piece of land to good use.

“There are a lot of low-income people in Prince Albert, so there’s a tremendous need for housing,” he explained. “We need to get to a lot of these families before the kids get involved in crime or whatever, because it’s been proven time and time again that if you put kids in safe housing and they do better in school and they avoid drugs and gang affiliation.”

Lemieux came up with the idea for the project after biking by the property and noticing how little it was used. He played minor ball there as a youth, and thought the property could be put to better use.

He said project is a great opportunity to build cost-effective housing, and he remains hopeful the project will be approved.

“To me it’s a real shoe-in for the city,” he said.

For the rest of this story, please see the Oct. 17 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.