This July, some lucky low-income families are going to earn a home of their own at last. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Ottawa (Habitat GO), the homes are being planned for the Orleans area. It’s the first phase of a 16-home set.
Habitat for Humanity helps families build and own homes of their own. Dozens of volunteers help out on every Habitat project, from skilled trades to enthusiastic DIYers to those who prepare nutritious lunches for the construction volunteers. For safety reasons, children under 16 cannot participate on build sites.
Cassidy’s is very impressed by the work that Habitat GO has been doing, so we’re going to help out by donating moving services (at less than cost) for each of the families. We’ll have the full update once the families are moved in, but we can’t help sharing our excitement about this cause right away!
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Why Habitat for Humanity is a Worthy Cause
There are plenty of responsible low-income families out there who deserve a home of their own. By removing the mortgage interest barrier, Habitat GO allows families to break the poverty cycle.
Partner family member Barb Wolfe put it best: ““It will give me a kitchen where I can cook, a backyard for my daughter to grow and the ability to care for my aging mother if she so chooses. Owning my own home will mean peace, security, freedom and stability.”
When people live in homes they own, they are more likely to care for them, making for a better community for everyone. Once they’ve learned the valuable tool use, safety, and construction skills while building their homes, they will certainly be more than capable!
How Habitat Helps Families Help Themselves
As Habitat GO says, their program is about “a hand up not a hand out”. Only families who earn a low but stable income can qualify for the program. These include nuclear and single-parent families.
Before being accepted into the program, families have to pass a number of approvals including a police check, a credit check and an assessment by the Habitat board of directors.
The families also have to:
- Volunteer with Habitat for 500 hours or more before they can have a home, learning tool and building skills in the process.
- Take courses on home and yard care and maintenance.
- Pay fair market value for the home in monthly installments. The only thing they don’t have to pay is the interest on the mortgage. Monthly payments are 25% to 30% of their income, and are adjusted up or down if they get a better job or run into hard times.
For those who qualify and are willing to put in the “sweat equity”, the end will result will be pride of ownership and smiles all round!