735,000 Canadian children live in unsafe housing

Habitat for Humanity Canada marks National Housing Day

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2016 /CNW/ - Why does housing matter? Because too many children spend their life living in unsafe, inadequate and often deplorable housing conditions. That's why National Housing Day is important – a day to bring attention to how important having access to a safe, decent and affordable place to live is, as well as how many Canadians do not have that.

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada has helped Canadian families, including Indigenous families, gain strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Habitat's innovative model helps bridge the gap between social/rental housing and market housing. It frees up much needed units in social or rental housing for Canadians, as thirty-seven per cent of Habitat families that buy their own home come directly from social housing.  

"Affordable homeownership – the focus of our work in Canada – has benefits that reach far beyond four walls," says Mark Rodgers, Habitat Canada's President and CEO. "Families living in Habitat homes reduce their reliance on food banks, have better educational and employment outcomes as well as improved health."

During consultations with the federal government on a National Housing Strategy, Habitat Canada made the following recommendations:

  1. Reduce the level of core housing need for vulnerable groups through investments in Indigenous housing, homelessness, affordable rental housing and maintaining and expanding the stock of social housing.
  2. Work with Indigenous communities to create and implement an Indigenous Housing Strategy.
  3. Invest in Habitat's Affordable Homeownership program over the next eight years to create new affordable homes and renovate additional homes in northern communities.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity Canada's recommendations to the federal government on housing, click here.

Did you know?

  • The Habitat for Humanity model is based on a partnership between the family, the community, volunteers, the private sector and, at times, with modest one-time contributions from different orders of governments. In many cases, Habitat works with local skills and apprentice programs.
  • We build homes in different forms, ranging from single-detached to multi-unit to mixed-use. The size of our developments can exceed 60 units.
  • Habitat families work alongside volunteers to help build their homes and pay an affordable, no-interest mortgage geared to the family's income level.
  • The average Habitat home generates $175,000 of benefits to society.
  • Habitat's affordable home ownership program has created a social return on investment of $500 million over the last 30 years in Canada.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, nonprofit organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. We believe in bringing communities together to help families build strength, stability and self-reliance. With the help of volunteers and 56 affiliate organizations from coast to coast to coast, we partner with families and mobilize community support to build affordable housing and promote homeownership as means of eliminating barriers to better, healthier and more financially stable lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity Canada

Image with caption: "A Canadian volunteer helping build homes during the 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. (CNW Group/Habitat for Humanity Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161122_C3266_PHOTO_EN_823822.jpg

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Habitat Canada's President and CEO Mark Rodgers: Sarah Anderson Austin, Senior Manager, Communications, Habitat for Humanity Canada, E: saustin@habitat.ca, C: 647-571-6405

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