Habitat for Humanity recognizes green building excellence

- 2010 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life National Award winner announced at Habitat for Humanity Canada AGM -

OTTAWA, April 29 /CNW/ - Today, Habitat for Humanity Canada presented Jim Carragher with the second-annual Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life National Award for Leadership in Sustainable and Affordable Home Building at its Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Jim Carragher is the Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island Inc. and has been instrumental in instituting and advancing recognized green building practices for Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island.

The award was created in 2009 in an effort to encourage and inspire individuals to champion the issue of affordable home ownership in their communities and encourage more Habitat for Humanity affiliates to adopt green sustainable building(1) practices. To qualify for the award, individuals must demonstrate active participation and involvement in the following three categories: donate; participate; and advocate.

"Many low-income families living in affordable housing are facing financial challenges due to increasing utility costs," said Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "It is our hope that this award will continue to encourage individuals like Jim to actively support and engage in affordable and sustainable home building as a means to help Canadians break the "energy poverty" cycle."

Carragher has helped raise approximately $88,000 for Habitat for Humanity in the past year, with 100 per cent of the funds being used to build sustainable homes in Prince Edward Island. He also played a leading role at the 2009 Eco-Build - a PEI build that met Habitat for Humanity Canada's sustainable building criteria - and has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring sustainable home construction in future Habitat PEI projects.

"It is our goal to have 90 per cent of our builds meet third-party best-in-class green building standards by 2012," said Stewart Hardacre, President and COO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "The green homes built by our volunteers help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to three tons, and save our partner families about $500 annually in utility costs."

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, along with their staff and distribution associates, have a long history of supporting Habitat for Humanity Canada, sponsoring multiple builds and contributing hundreds of hours to build homes. Great-West Life and its subsidiaries have made a five-year commitment of $250,000 to support this award.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life:

Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer which, together with its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life, serves the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. As an Imagine Caring Company, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life donate a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada:

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 50,000 volunteers and 73 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to break the cycle of poverty through affordable housing and the promotion of homeownership.

    (1) Definition of Sustainable Building Practice as it applies to Habitat
        for Humanity (HFH):
        When considering "sustainability" one thinks of exploiting natural
        resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area. To
        HFH, Sustainable Building Practices also take into consideration
        enhanced Energy Efficiency, aligning with locally recognized
        initiatives/programs and limiting the environmental impact of the
        house during construction and after occupancy. At the same time, HFH
        makes a concerted effort to maintain true affordability for the
        organization during construction and for the Partner Family once they
        occupy the dwelling.

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity Canada

For further information: For further information: Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations, josie.haynes@cossette.com, (416) 934-8012

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