Women politicians will cross party lines to come together and take hands-on approach to the issue of affordable housing
TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - For the first time in Habitat Toronto history, over 35 female politicians, from all levels of government, will set aside their political differences and come together to help build six Habitat homes in support of the 2013 Women Build. Dubbed Women in Politics Build Day, this milestone event will provide City Councillors, MPs and MPPs the opportunity to cross party lines and swing hammers alongside each other to show their common support and belief that affordable homeownership helps break the cycle of poverty.
"In their work as community leaders, these women understand the vital role of affordable housing in promoting the social, health and economic well-being of families in our city and across the province," says Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Toronto. "For one day on a Habitat build site, city councillors, MPs, and MPPs will put their words into action, working side by side with hammers and hardhats, to inspire and help transform our community."
Habitat for Humanity Toronto's fourth Women Build is part of a global campaign that brings women together in a shared mission to build simple, decent and affordable homes alongside families living in need. The Women Build not only encourages a spirit of empowerment, solidarity and fun, it is also an opportunity to learn and encourage women to get involved in the construction profession, which is traditionally perceived to be male-dominated.
Women in Politics Day Highlights:
|What:||Women in Politics Build Day|
|Photo Opportunities with Media|
|Location:||42 Acme Crescent, Toronto (Kipling Avenue and Dixon Road)|
|Parking on Acme Cres., Hawthorne, Marblehead, & Northcrest Roads|
|Date:||Monday, September 23, 2013|
|Times:||2:00 - Photo Opportunity|
|2:30 - Press Conference|
|3:00 - Building resumes with photo opportunities with media|
|Who:||Cabinet ministers and senior leaders/representatives from all provincial parties|
|City of Toronto's Women Councillors|
|Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat Toronto|
|Habitat Toronto Partner Families|
|Photos/Visuals:||Provincial leaders and women MPPs working alongside each other|
|Habitat Toronto partner families|
|Women MPPs in a "Hammering Competition"|
Habitat for Humanity Toronto's Women in Politics Build Day Attendees:
|MPs and MPPs||City Councillors and Municipal officials|
|Olivia Chow, MP||Councillor Maria Augimeri|
|Judy Sgro, MP||Councillor Ana Bailão|
|Teresa Armstrong, MPP||Councillor Michelle Berardinetti|
|Donna H. Cansfield, MPP||Councillor Shelley Carroll|
|Dipika Damerla, MPP||Councillor Janet Davis|
|Christine Elliot, MPP||Councillor Sarah Doucette|
|Andrea Horwath, MPP||Councillor Paula Fletcher|
|Mitzie Hunter, MPP||Councillor Mary Fragedakis|
|Helena Jaczek, MPP||Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby|
|The Honorable Linda Jeffrey, MPP||Jennifer Keesmaat|
|Silvia Jones, MPP||Councillor Pam McConnell|
|The Honorable Tracy MacCharles, MPP||Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon|
|Amrit Mangat, MPP||Councillor Frances Nunziata|
|The Honorable Teresa Piruzza, MPP||Councillor Jaye Robinson|
|The Honorable Liz Sandals, MPP||Councillor Karen Stintz|
|Monique Taylor, MPP||Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam|
|Lisa Thompson, MPP|
|Soo Wong, MPP|
Why it Matters
Single mothers comprise about 80% of all single-parent families in Canada, and 33% of Habitat Toronto's Partner Family Homeowners are single mothers. Since owning a Habitat home however, 76% of Habitat families report an improvement in children's school grades and 88% report an improvement in children's confidence. This research reveals how Habitat homeownership has a transformative effect on the lives of low-income families and our city's communities.
To Tricia Wedderburn, a single mother of four children, "owning a home would be an absolute dream come true." Tricia moved to Canada from Jamaica in 1994, and has since started a family in Toronto. Presently, the Wedderburns live in a low-income housing unit located in an unsafe neighbourhood and riddled with "mold around the windows, basement and washroom ceilings," explains Tricia. The Wedderburn family is extremely grateful to Habitat Toronto for the opportunity to have a home of their own. Both Tricia and her children agree that, "a home is a place where you can go to at any time to rest, cry, just feel the love, and always feel happy because we are together with family and friends."
A history of the Women Build success
In 1998, Habitat for Humanity International formed the Women Build program, officially becoming a HFHI initiative. To-date, over $2 million has been raised in support of Habitat for Humanity Toronto through the Women Build campaign. Since 2009, 51 Habitat Toronto Women Build homes have been built, and over 2,700 women have volunteered to build Habitat Toronto homes. Since 2000, Canadian Women Build events have built or have contributed to building 89 affordable homes in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta. Over 2,100 Habitat houses have been built by women crews in over 30 countries around the world.
About Habitat for Humanity Toronto:
Established in 1988, Habitat for Humanity Toronto is a non-profit housing organization that mobilizes volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. Founded on Christian principles, we welcome all people without discrimination to join us as we build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families. One hundred percent of all administrative and fundraising costs are paid for by the operation of five Toronto ReStores. Habitat Toronto ReStores sell new and gently-used donated building and household products. Marking our 25th anniversary, Habitat Toronto will have helped over 250 families find the safety and security of a home by the end of 2013. Every 5.5 minutes, Habitat for Humanity helps a family improve their housing situation somewhere in the world.
***Media are invited to attend and interviews will be available***
Please visit womenbuildtoronto.ca for more information on Women Build 2013
Please visit torontohabitat.ca for more information on Habitat for Humanity Toronto
SOURCE: Habitat for Humanity Toronto
For further information:
To attend the event or schedule an interview, please contact:
Joanna M. Dwyer
Director, Marketing & Communications
Habitat for Humanity Toronto
Cell: 416-708-6481 Office: 416-755-7353 ext. 259