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Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground on New Home for First Nations Family Marking 50th Build in Windsor

WINDSOR, Ontario, August 19, 2009 — 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 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 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 Margaret Messenger, Executive Director 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.

For further information, please contact:

Laura Gould
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity — Windsor – Essex
Tel.: 519-969-7832

Nicole Burgers
Communications and Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Tel.: 416-250-2760

Margaret Messenger
Executive Director
Can-Am Urban Native Non-Profit Homes
Tel.: 519-977-778

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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