The head of the newly-formed Clarenville chapter of Habitat for Humanity says the cost of rental housing in Clarenville is skyrocketing, and lower-income workers are having difficulty finding affordable housing.
Colin Holloway said large industrial projects near Clarenville, such as the Vale iron ore processing facility in Long Harbour, and the Hebron Gravity Based Structure construction in Bull Arm are driving up demand for worker housing, which in turn, has driven up housing prices.
Holloway said rental rates for one-bedroom apartments in Clarenville are about $850 a month, and a three-bedroom house costs between $2,000-$4,000 monthly.
'Many people are trying to cash in on that in this community.' - Colin Holloway, chair, Habitat for Humanity Clarenville
He said people who work in lower paying industries, such as retail or fast-food, can only afford to pay about $675 a month.
"What they can afford is far below what's being asked by those who have apartments or have houses that are either for rent or for sale," said Holloway.
Holloway added that many landlords are targeting their properties to workers at the large industrial projects.
"If the demand is great and the supply is low then you can raise the price or the value of the property, and many people are trying to cash in on that in this community."
Charity helps lower income families across N.L.
Habitat for Humanity helps lower-income working families acquire affordable homes by mobilizing volunteers and getting donations and partnerships from community groups to build housing at lower prices.
Holloway said the newly-formed Habitat for Humanity chapter in Clarenville plans to submit a request to the town council for a piece of land to build a two-home duplex.
He said many people in Clarenville have become interested in getting involved, as they have noticed the success of Habitat for Humanity projects in St. John's, Paradise, the Northern Peninsula, and Labrador.
He said if the town approves the release of a plot of land, his group hopes to start building the duplex next spring, and have it ready for two families to move into by the end of next summer.