Meet Our Sponsors: Habitat for Humanity GTA
This week, we are featuring our partners at Habitat for Humanity GTA. Having recently completed the first in a series of our Faith 150 Build initiative together, we are excited to share the work of Habitat for Humanity with our Faith in Canada 150 community.
Founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity was a movement that grew out of a desire to lend “a hand up to those in need by working side by side with them to build safe, decent and affordable houses.” Inspired by a visit and eventual move to Koinonia, a small, interracial Christian community, the work of Habitat for Humanity’s “partnership housing” blossomed into the expansion into Habitat for Humanity International.
The Habitat for Humanity Movement came to Canada in 1985 with its first build taking place in Winkler, Manitoba. Habitat for Humanity now has “56 affiliates in 10 provinces and three territories and has successfully provided over 2,800 families with safe, decent and affordable housing.”
Our partners at Habitat for Humanity GTA continue to undertake the faithful work of partnership building. Confirms Noah Kravitz, Communications Manager for Habitat for Humanity GTA, “Habitat for Humanity GTA provides affordable homeownership options to working, low-income families in need of safe, decent, and affordable homes.”
Those unfamiliar with Habitat for Humanity’s model of sustainability often wonder how, in an age of skyrocketing real estate prices, the work of providing affordable housing for these low-income families comes about. Explains Kravtiz, “Habitat GTA families pay a Habitat for Humanity mortgage (capped at 30% of their household income) and instead of a down payment, partner families give 500 hours of “sweat equity” volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity build site or at our ReStore.”
Community partnership and sustainability remain the top priority of the Habitat for Humanity team. Reflects Kravitz, “The homes are built by volunteers, and proceeds from our Habitat ReStores help us build more homes for families so they can achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance of affordable homeownership. It’s truly a partnership model.”
Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary has provided a natural opportunity for Habitat for Humanity to reflect on the legacy that has unfolded over the course of their time in Canada. “2017 is a significant year as it will mark over 350 families who will move into their Habitat home and become homeowners. As well, we will be dedicating homes to the first block of families moving into our Pinery Trail project, which will be 50-stacked townhouses – our largest build to date.”
Canada’s 150th anniversary has also provided yet another opportunity for Habitat for Humanity GTA to mobilize Canadian citizens around projects defined by community engagement, collaboration, and the formation of a hopeful future. Notes Kravitz, “Canada 150, it has allowed us to undertake special initiatives such as the Carter Work Project (building with former U.S. President Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter here in Canada) as well as our Faith 150 builds where multi-faith communities come together to build, in partnership with Faith in Canada 150.”
Habitat for Humanity GTA is looking to the Faith Alliance to help them extend the valuable work that they continue to undertake. “We are still looking for families in need of a safe, decent, and affordable place to live to enter our homeownership program. We need the Faith Alliance Network’s community in the Greater Toronto Area to help spread the word to their communities to help make community groups and families aware.”
To learn more about the work of Habitat for Humanity GTA, visit: https://habitatgta.ca/homeownership/
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