'A place to grow and make memories': Iqaluit family of 5 to get new Habitat for Humanity home

Tiivi Qiatsuk, Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk and their three sons will soon be recipients of a new home in Iqaluit, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

Construction planned for this summer and fall in Iqaluit's Apex neighbourhood

Tiivi Qiatsuk, Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk and their three boys at the Habitat for Humanity build site in Apex. (Angela Hill/CBC News)

Tiivi Qiatsuk, Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk and their three sons will soon be recipients of a new home in Iqaluit, courtesy of the charity Habitat for Humanity.

"It means a lot to us and our kids, you know. A place to grow up and make memories," Ipeelie-Qiatsuk said.

"It's our home and you can't take that away. It's something we're going to build our future [from]."

The family stood on the edge of the lot in Apex discussing that future on Tuesday afternoon. Troy,11, asked where he could play street hockey in his new neighbourhood. Taukie, 14, wanted to know how big the house would be and nine-year-old Ethan started chatting with another youth who is set to become his neighbour.

Qiatsuk recalls being selected after a long application process.

"[We were] so excited, so happy. Overwhelmed with joy and excitement all at once. It was a good day," he said.

Habitat for Humanity board chair Glenn Cousins, left, Tiivi Qiatsuk, and Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk, take in the view of the Apex lot for the 2017 build. (Angela Hill/CBC News)

"They are both going places," said Glenn Cousins, Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit's board chair.

"Caroline has just finished NTEP [the Nunavut Teacher Education Program] and is becoming a teacher. Tiivi just got a new job. For us to be part of a family growing and succeeding is really great."

Construction is expected to be underway by mid-June. Local volunteers will be joined by volunteer teams coming from the rest of Canada. Close to 100 people will visit Iqaluit over the summer and fall to take part in the build, Cousins said.

Unique event

Those coming for the longest day of the year will be part of the Midnight Sun Build, a unique event that starts at noon and continues until midnight.

"For many of these volunteers it's the first time they've experienced anything close to midnight sun, so they get pretty excited about it," Cousins said.

Qiatsuk and Iipeelie-Qiatsuk will be working alongside the volunteers, paying off their home by helping to build it. Part of the the Habitat for Humanity program includes 500 hours of sweat equity by the future owners.

If everything goes according to plan, the family will be able to move into their home in time for Christmas.