Habitat For Humanity Announces Next Step in Fighting Housing Crisis: National Leadership Council

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Today, Habitat for Humanity Canada launched its National Leadership Council, a group of influential Canadians brought together by their belief that safe, decent and affordable housing is key to building stronger communities and a stronger Canada. Together, they are working to make housing a priority issue by acting as Habitat for Humanity ambassadors locally and globally. The Council has pledged to devote their personal time, expertise and influence to raising awareness and understanding of the issue which affects more than four million Canadians and 1.6 billion people worldwide.

"As Council members, we want to increase awareness of the affordable housing issue in Canada, help Habitat for Humanity Canada and its affiliates raise enough resources to double the number of houses built in Canada in the next five years, and offer moral support to the leadership of the organization," said Brett Marchand, President and CEO, Cossette and National Leadership Council Chair.

With the Council, comes the National Platform on Affordable Housing, which has been signed by each member and that Habitat for Humanity Canada is now encouraging all Canadians to put their name to, demonstrating their personal support. Through the Platform, Habitat for Humanity Canada commits to raising awareness and understanding of the need for affordable housing locally and globally through the following actions:

  • Support the construction of more than 2,000 homes in Canada through direct community participation over the next five years and provide financial homeownership education to up to 2,000 families in housing need through local homeownership programs
  • Collaborate with partners to house over 4,000 families internationally and provide critical resources to thousands of people in the areas of, vocational training, water and sanitation support, health-related and financial education, and improved construction techniques
  • Provide a minimum of 100 Aboriginal families in Canada with affordable homes over the next five years
  • Encourage dialogue and action with all levels of government to end the national housing crisis in Canada

"There is an urgent need in Canada and around the world for affordable housing.  Habitat for Humanity Canada's goal is to increase the number of affordable homes we build, but we cannot solve the housing crisis alone," said Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada. "By launching the National Leadership Council and our National Platform on Affordable Housing, we are giving individuals a new way to express their commitment to Habitat for Humanity and affordable housing."

Habitat for Humanity Canada's National Platform on Affordable Housing can be signed at www.habitat.ca/showyoursupport. In addition to showing personal support, signing the Platform will also help low-income families achieve homeownership, as for each signature, MCAP Service Corporation will generously donate $5 to Habitat for Humanity Canada. Further, if a personal donation is made when signing, MCAP will also match the donated amount.

Current members of the Habitat for Humanity Canada National Leadership Council and supporters of the National Platform on Affordable Housing include:

  • Stewart Hardacre, President and Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity Canada
  • Brett Marchand, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cossette (Chair)
  • Annette Verschuren, Former President, The Home Depot Canada
  • Hank Stackhouse, President and Chief Executive Officer, Delta Hotels and Resorts
  • Paul Ostrander, President and Chief Executive Officer, Holcim (Canada) Inc.
  • Dave Perkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, Molson Coors Canada
  • Frank Geier, President, GFS Canada Company, Inc.
  • Shawn Atleo, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
  • Jean LaRose, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
  • Rusty Sutherland, President, Tachane Foundation
  • John Thompson, Chair, Corporate Social Responsibility and Senior Vice President, Product Development & Strategic Initiatives, MCAP Service Corporation
  • Gail Lilley, Partner, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Michael Dobbins, Senior Vice President, Head, Mortgage and Consumer Lending, RBC
  • Simon O'Byrne, Senior Principal Practice Leader, Urban Planning, Stantec
  • Henry Banman, Senior Executive Vice President & Founding Partner, All Weather Windows
  • Dr. Penny Gurstein, PhD, MCIP, Director & Professor at the School of Community & Regional Planning, UBC

About Habitat for Humanity Canada: Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 50,000 volunteers every year and 72 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty.

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity Canada

For further information:

Sarah Shelest, Citizen Optimum, 416-934-8082, sarah.shelest@citizenrelations.com


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