Family breaks ground for Habitat for Humanity home

A lifelong Whidbey resident and her family have started building their own home in Oak Harbor.

When Victoria Adaus Myers contemplated being a homeowner, she never expected she’d be able to have waterfront views.

Now, with the help of Habitat for Humanity of Island County and a crew of volunteers, the lifelong Whidbey resident and her family have started building their own home, with the water in sight.

Adaus Myers, her husband Aaron Myers, and their two daughters, Katherine and Arryn, officially broke ground Thursday, Jan. 28 on their 1,500-square-foot townhouse, which is located on Southeast 10th Avenue in Oak Harbor.

The family will be sharing the wall with another homebuyer and applicant of the house-building program.

Together, their two homes represent the 51st and 52nd homes built by Habitat of Humanity of Island County.

As part of the program, homebuyers are required to contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity,” which can be spent building their home, building other homes or working in the Habitat for Humanity stores or offices.

The two homes in Oak Harbor are the first to be built since the pandemic began. Resource Development Manager Kathy Blair said the organization has faced several challenges in the past year.

“We rely really strongly on volunteers for building the homes,” she said, adding that for a while, new houses couldn’t be built because volunteers weren’t able to help out at all due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Now, about half as many volunteers as usual will be helping to build the two new homes, while adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.

Because of this, Blair estimated construction will most likely take longer than the normal timeframe. It could take up to a year to finish the building.

Nevertheless, Adaus Myers and her family are eager to get the work started.

She said her daughters, who are ages 6 and 8, are excited to have their own rooms in the three-bedroom townhouse.

“They’re excited to paint their bedrooms,” she said.

The family is also looking forward to moving out of their old apartment, putting down some new roots and cooking together.

And of course, there’s the view.

“I love the water view,” Adaus Myers said. “I never thought I’d be able to own a house with a water view. It feels kinda unreal.”

Next up, Blair said Habitat for Humanity will be moving south and is hoping to start building a home in Freeland near Holmes Harbor.