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Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit Launches First Midnight Sun Build

IQALUIT, Nunavut, June 20, 2009 — Today marked the launch of Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit’s first Midnight Sun Build to help address housing needs in the North. The build will take place on a lot near the intersection of Niaqunngusiariaq (Apex Road) and the Road to Nowhere.

Beginning at noon on Saturday, volunteers from across Canada will take advantage of the longest day of the year and work 24 hours to build a home for a local family in need. The Midnight Sun Build coincides with National Aboriginal Day on June 21st.

Through Habitat for Humanity Canada, the parent organization of Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit, 10 million volunteer hours have been logged at Habitat Canada build sites since 1985, resulting in more than 1,400 Habitat homes being built for Canadian families in need.

“Just as adequate housing is not a reality for more than half of the Nunavut population, four million Canadians across the nation do not have access to a decent affordable place to live,” said Stewart Hardacre, President and Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “This problem will not solve itself. We need the support of volunteers and donors, like we have seen for the Midnight Sun Build, in order to continue to move closer to a solution.”

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 the Habitat for Humanity Aboriginal Housing Program.

"I would like to congratulate Habitat Iqaluit on the 2009 Habitat for Humanity Midnight Sun Build," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut, 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 for Humanity to address housing needs in Iqaluit and across the country.”

“The Midnight Sun Build marks the construction of the second Habitat for Humanity home in Iqaluit,” said Glenn Cousins, Chair of the Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit Board of Directors. “We believe that Habitat for Humanity is part of the solution to the housing crisis in Iqaluit, and we are pleased to be able to engage with partners, sponsors and volunteers to help another Iqaluit family in need.”

The Iqaluit build is a step towards reducing the barriers between families and home ownership, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of affordable housing in making Canadian communities better places to live, work and grow.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC):

HFHC is a national, non-profit, faith-based organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. The mission of the organization is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in 1985 and consists of over 50,000 volunteers and 72 affiliate organizations from coast to coast. The organization is also a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which spans 93 countries, has built over 300,000 homes and is now building a new home every 10 minutes.

About Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit (HFHIQ):

HFHIQ was founded in 2005 and is an affiliate of HFHC. HFHIQ engages sponsors and volunteers to provide an affordable housing option for eligible families willing to participate in building their own home.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant, healthy communities and cities across the country. For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
Phone: 613-218-9288

Elizabeth Sharp
Habitat for Humanity Canada
Director, Marketing & Communications
Phone: 416-644-0988 ext. 320

Josée Bellemare
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Aglukkaq
Phone: 613-957-0200

Kimberlee Jones
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Senior Communications Consultant
Phone: 403-515-3048