‘We’re in a better place’: Yellowknife family receives forever home from Habitat NWT

Stephanie Lafferty and her family received their first home this month, thanks to Habitat NWT. (Photo courtesy of Mariah Caruso)

“No words can explain this gift that we got.”

Stephanie Lafferty and her family are one of the lucky recipients to receive a new modular home this month from Habitat for Humanity NWT.

Lafferty remembers receiving the call while driving and being so overjoyed, tears streaming down her face she had to pull over.

“I’ve always told my babies. One day mum will get a house so you guys will get a home that we can call our own,” she says.

“Just be patient and that day will come.”

Lafferty is a single mother and has six children, two of which have a disease called Bardet-Biedl syndrome.

This is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple bodily functions. Including, vision loss, lack of smell, motor functions and excessive fat deposits around the abdomen.

Living in a public housing unit on Lanky Court brought its own set of challenges that posed a risk to her family’s health and stability.

She describes communicating with the property owner, Northview, as a “constant battle.”

“I (had) mould growing in my bathroom, and I had water leaking from the bathrooms to the furnace area,” she says.

“That’s not healthy.”

Lafferty and her family now live in a three-bedroom, 1200-square-foot energy-efficient home.

“All I know is that we’re in a better place, a quiet place,” she says.

After nearly two decades in public housing, “I’m proud of where I am right now,” she added.

Dave Brothers is the chairperson on the building committee for Habitat for Humanity NWT.

Due to Covid and overall surging construction and labour costs, the board decided to go a different route­ with modular units instead of the usual stick build.

He says a lot of this work is dependent on volunteers, some local some from abroad and modular units just seemed like the right fit.

Brothers has lived in Yellowknife for 42 years, he says, “A lot of the homes in the north were built many years ago with very minimal maintenance, and they’re rundown, they need to be repaired. Some need to be demolished.”

In the next four years, four more modular homes are expected to be brought into Yellowknife, thanks to Habitat NWT.


About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com