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Habitat for Humanity — Breaks Ground for Historic Blitz Build

WINDSOR, Ontario, April 28, 2005 — International and national sponsors, community volunteers, partner families, civic leaders and representatives from Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity Canada and the local Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex affiliate, gathered to officially break ground signaling the start of the historic 2005 Windsor Blitz build.

This build is part of the official 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) and will include a visit from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on June 23rd. The JCWP is held at a different location each year, and attracts volunteers from around the world. This year's JCWP will be a bi-national effort involving 225 builds including houses in Windsor, Ontario, Detroit, Michigan and Benton Harbour, Michigan.

The Windsor component of the build involves the construction of six (1,100 square foot) homes and will be orchestrated by the Windsor-Essex Habitat for Humanity affiliate. The Windsor-Essex affiliate blitz build will take place from June 11 – June 24. The build site is located at the corner of Bruce Avenue and Tecumseh Road West.

"The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is proud to support the 2005 Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Build," said the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Affordable housing is an important part of our commitment to build healthy, sustainable communities, and we are dedicated to working in partnership with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to address housing needs in Windsor and across the country."

"We are very excited to have been chosen as a partner family," declared Mohamed Farow, one of the partner families selected for the project. "We will now own our own home, no longer having to move from one place to another. We feel like true Windsorites and we are very grateful to Habitat for giving us this opportunity."

Candidates for homes are selected on the basis of their ability to support a mortgage, earning between $20,000 – $40,000 annually. The source of income can come from employment income, spousal support or disability income. The candidate must also embrace the Habitat for Humanity concept and partner with Habitat on future projects. Homeowners invest 500 hours of their own sweat equity to build their home and other Habitat houses.

According to Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex affiliate Executive Director Gerald Sykes, being selected as a city to participate in the JCWP is quite an honour. "Our participation in the 2005 JCWP allows us to partner with international and national sponsors," reported Sykes.

Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) is a non-profit charitable organization, founded in 1985, operating as a membership association which now consists of 65 member organizations operating in all 10 Canadian Provinces and in the Yukon, engaging over 30,000 volunteers from coast-to-coast.

HFHC is an active and contributing member of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), which delivers its programs through an extensive worldwide network of community-based affiliate organizations that span 2,800 locations in 100 countries. Through these affiliates Habitat for Humanity has built and rehabilitated more than 180,000 houses around the world, has provided safe and affordable housing for close to 1 million people since its inception, and is building a new home somewhere in the world every 24 minutes.

Event wide sponsors include for the 2005 JCWP are: Whirlpool, Lowe's, Dow, Great Lakes Capital Fund and Masco. House sponsors for the Windsor Essex blitz build are: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Fund for Humanity — Windsor-Essex, Genworth Financial & MCAP, Home Depot Canada, Russell A. Farrow Limited Custom House Brokers, Weyerhaeuser Company and Whirlpool Corporation.

For further information, contact Gerry Sykes, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex at 969-3762 Ext. 25.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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