Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

August 19, 2009 23:59 ET

Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on new home for First Nations family marking 50th build in Windsor

WINDSOR ON, Aug. 19) - Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Inc. (HFHWE), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Can-Am Urban Native Non-Profit Homes (Can-Am) joined together to break ground on a new home for a First Nations family today.

Today's groundbreaking marks an important milestone for Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex. They are also celebrating 50 builds in the City of Windsor. Since 1994, HFH Windsor-Essex has been coordinating volunteers and collecting building materials and funding to help families secure a home.

This build is the first Ontario partnership between an urban First Nation organization and Habitat to build a home specifically for a First Nations family under Habitat's Aboriginal Housing Program that aims to help more Aboriginal families access homeownership. The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), is a gold sponsor for Habitat for Humanity Canada and the lead national sponsor for Habitat for Humanity Aboriginal Housing Program.

"I would like to congratulate Habitat Windsor-Essex on this important milestone event," said Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for CMHC. "Affordable housing is an important part of our government's commitment to build stronger, healthier and more sustainable communities. We are dedicated to working in partnership with organizations like Habitat to address housing needs in Ontario and across the country."

All Habitat homes are built by volunteers and the successful applicant families under the supervision of professionals. This is a cost-effective way of producing a home while giving families the opportunity to participate in the construction of their own residence.

"It's my great honour to work for this organization and its committed donors, partners, volunteers and staff on this landmark build," says Laura Gould, Executive Director of HFHWE. "Seeing the difference these homes have made in the lives of children, is heart warming and visible proof that Habitat is indeed building hope."

"I'm elated to see that, in their 15th year, Habitat Windsor-Essex is completing their 50th partner home and building their first home for First Nations family," says long-time supporter and past HFHWE President, Rick Farrow. "I applaud their continued efforts to address the ongoing housing concerns in our community."

Also partnering on this project is Can-Am Urban Native Non-Profit Homes, which was started in 1988 by a group of volunteers who recognized an urgent need for affordable housing for First Nations people in the Windsor area. Currently, Can-Am has 81 single family homes, the Nash Kanonhsa Home and the Biimskiinodin Transitional House.

"As a Habitat supporter and build participant in previous years, we're delighted to have assisted with the recruitment of a local First Nations family. The family is so grateful for this opportunity to reach their dream of home ownership," says Gail Growe, President of Can-Am.

Overall, Can-Am strives to improve the socioeconomic well-being of First Nations residing in Windsor through various housing initiatives and provides leadership and involvement on various activities and projects.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC has over 60 years experience helping Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. For more than seven years, CMHC Ontario Region has supported Habitat through staff support and charitable activities. CMHC has supported this build with a $10,000 Seed funding commitment, as well as a $10,000 donation from staff charitable activities and its contributions through Habitat's Aboriginal Housing Program.

Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex is a non-profit, faith-based organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting home-ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Disponible en français

For more information visit: http://www.cmhc.ca

http://www.habitatwindsor.org

http://www.caunh.ca

Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Inc.

Backgrounder

Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Inc. (HFHWE) has been coordinating volunteers and collecting building materials and funding to help 49 families secure a home of their own. As of today's build, 50 families in Windsor will now live in a Habitat home. HFHWE also runs its own ReStore, in which it sells donated new and used building supplies, furniture, houseware and garden items at discounted prices. The proceeds enable HFHWE to cover significant operational, administrative and building costs.

Over the past 15 years, from its first build back on High Street, with land donated by the City of Windsor, HFHWE has accomplished many other firsts.

HFHWE has hosted both National and International Events including, in the year 2000, the Ed Schreyer Work Project in which 10 homes were built in 5 days. As well, HFHWE took part in the only Canadian portion of the Annual Jimmy Carter Work Project in 2005. HFHWE has also held a Women's Build and two Student Builds.

All HFHWE homes are built by volunteers and the successful applicant partner families under the supervision of professionals. This is a cost-effective way of building a home, while also allows families the opportunity to participate in the construction of their own residence.

Housing applicants must be in need of affordable housing, be able to pay an interest-free mortgage and contribute 500 hours of "sweat equity" towards the build and/or staffing the ReStore. By helping successful applicants gain ownership of their own homes, HFHWE provides them with the confidence they need to live stable, healthy lives and be long-term contributors to their community and local economy.

For more information, please visit www.habitatwindsor.org.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Backgrounder

As Canada's national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation draws on over 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

CMHC has supported the work of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) for more than seven years through staff support and charitable activities. HFH Windsor-Essex is building a home for a First Nation family, which marks their 50th build in Windsor. CMHC is proud to support this project with a $10,000 Seed funding commitment as well as a $10,000 donation from staff charitable activities. CMHC is a Gold sponsor at the national level which includes being lead national sponsor for HFH Canada's Aboriginal Housing Program pilot. This program is a three-year pilot started by HFH Canada in September 2007 that aims to help more Aboriginal families access homeownership.

In addition, CMHC provides programs which focus on supplying suitable, affordable housing for Aboriginal communities.

For more information, please visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.

Can-Am Urban Native Homes

Backgrounder

Established in 1988, Can-Am Urban Native Homes (Can-Am) has sought to provide and maintain adequate and affordable urban housing for Aboriginal people and their families. It was started through a Community Development Program by a group of volunteers who recognized an urgent need to assist the Aboriginal Community in finding affordable housing.

Can-Am also provides a number of programs which seek to address the socio-economic issues facing their own tenants and the Windsor community. These programs and activities include a monthly newsletter, home maintenance program, Aboriginal Day celebrations, tenant advocacy and a number of traditional teachings for spiritual and emotional well-being.

Can-Am currently has 81 single family homes, as well as the Nash Kanonhsa Home and the Biimskiinodin Transitional House. In 1996, Can-Am, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other community partners restored a historical Queen Anne 1894 home to a three-storey walkup with three two-bedroom units. In 2005, with funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Can-Am added two transitional housing units with the Biimskiinodin Project.

For more information please visit http://www.caunh.ca/.

Contact Information

  • Laura Gould, Executive Director, Habitat for
    Humanity - Windsor-Essex, (519) 969-7832; Margaret Messenger, Executive
    Director, Can-Am Urban Native Non-Profit Homes, (519) 977-7782; Nicole
    Burgers, Consultant, Communications and Marketing, Canada Mortgage and Housing
    Corporation, (416) 250-2760