All posts by Julie Watt

ReVive TV with Brian McCourt

Our friend Brian McCourt has teamed up with our ReVive Centre for a very special collaborative, ReVive TV.  Exercise your creative muscles and build these unique DIY pieces out of recycled items found in your own home.


Bubble Light


Nail Art


Bookshelf


Birch Tree Light


Belted Coffee Table

For more information on ReVive, head to habitathm.ca/revive

GAP housing is Habitat HM's new housing model.

Habitat HM Supports Mississauga’s Housing GAP and the “Missing Middle”

GAP housing is Habitat HM's new housing model.

Individuals who fall just beyond the criteria for affordable housing are often neglected in the discussion of housing and the city of Mississauga recognizes them as the “missing middle” within the housing continuum. This represents an individual who falls into “GAP”: someone making a moderate income and who still can’t afford to own a home. 

Here at Habitat HM, we prioritize making homeownership accessible and affordable for all. This is why we’ll be supporting the city of Mississauga’s affordable housing program, specifically GAP housing. We’re a prominent housing provider for affordable homes within the city and we’re using this model as a way to help bridge the gap of this “missing middle.”

GAP homeownership falls within the affordable housing continuum and that’s where Habitat comes in. 

What is affordable housing?

The benchmark in Canada for affordable housing is accommodation that costs less than 30 per cent of the household’s before-tax income. Housing types that are considered affordable lie along a continuum. 

Social housing 

Social housing, also referred to as subsidized housing, is government-owned (or privately-owned) housing for individuals who simply cannot afford a place to live. Usually, this type of accommodation operates on a rent-geared-to-income monthly payment. This means that you will not be paying more than 30 per cent of your monthly income on rent. The remainder of the rent is subsidized by the government. 

Rental housing

Of all households within the province, 30 per cent are renting. Rental housing is an accommodation that is occupied by someone other than the owner. The individual or family occupying the home (also known as the tenant) pays periodic rent to the owner. 

Market homeownership

Market homeownership is the long term goal of many Canadians and the most significant investment most people will make in their lifetime. Owning a home means that you have an asset that will increase in value over time. This allows you to either sell it later in life to support your retirement or it allows you to keep the home within your family to benefit coming generations. 

Habitat’s housing models 

With Habitat HM’s housing models, our mission is to make homeownership attainable. We like to think of ourselves as the bridge between social or rental housing and homeownership. We work to bridge the gap between renting and owning, a gap that many view as insurmountable, to assist them in attaining their goal. 

Challenges of first-time homeownership

Down payment

One of the most significant obstacles to first-time homeownership is the down payment. With house prices within the province (and specifically within the GTA) skyrocketing, and most individuals not making enough revenue to afford these prices, buying a home might seem like an unattainable goal.

The minimum amount of down payment needed for a home worth $500,000 or less is 5 per cent. For homes worth more, the down payment can range from 10 to 20 per cent of the purchase price.

The average cost to own a home in Toronto is $838,540, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. Using a minimum down payment amount of 10 per cent, a homebuyer would need to pay $83,854 upfront to purchase the home.

The median household income in Toronto is $70,366, according to the city’s 2016 census on income.

Unaffordable payments

Using the above scenario, the homeowner would be expected to make monthly mortgage payments of $4,389 (calculated using a 5 per cent interest rate and an amortization period of 25 years).

In one year, this would mean $52,668 spent on mortgage payments alone. Along with the cost of transportation, food, clothing and other necessary expenses, an average Toronto income would not support owning a home. Not to mention other expenses that disproportionately impact young adults, like paying off student debt.

What is GAP housing?

GAP housing aims to make homeownership accessible to families and individuals making a moderate income that doesn’t support owning a home in today’s market. They don’t qualify for subsidized housing, but they’re still in need of a hand-up to purchase a house. Essentially, it’s filling the “gap” that currently exists within the homeownership market. 

GAP housing comes from the city of Mississauga’s housing strategy: Making Room for the Middle. Habitat HM will be introducing this option as a way to facilitate the city’s vision where middle-income households are able to move into homes that meet both their budget and lifestyle needs.

We acknowledge that there are several barriers that make it challenging for buyers to enter the housing market and that we have traditionally focused on helping those within the low-income market (making less than $60,000 in household income annually). 

As Habitat HM continues to expand, we’re always looking for ways that we can help more people. GAP housing is our solution to overcoming the aforementioned obstacles of homeownership and our way of expanding the scope of our support to the moderate-income market. Because after all, we’re all human and we believe that every human deserves a decent place to live and the opportunity for a better future. 

Who is GAP housing for?

GAP housing is specifically targeting families and individuals making a moderate income that doesn’t support owning a home in today’s market. This includes those making between $60,000 to $120,000 household income annually.

Interested applicants must be able to qualify for a minimum $400,000* traditional mortgage with a mortgage broker. Their ability to qualify for this mortgage depends on their personal financial condition, including their income, current debts and credit score.  

Habitat HM will then take out a second, non-paying mortgage for the remaining fair market value (market price for the house) beyond the minimum $400,000* mortgage**. For example, if the fair market value of the home is $710,000, the homeowner will take out a minimum of a $400,000* mortgage and Habitat will carry a $310,000 non-paying mortgage; the second mortgage will have no interest and it will be payable only on the sale and title transfer of the home**.

This means that if the homebuyer decides to sell, they would owe Habitat HM the value of the second mortgage. This is to prevent homeowners from “flipping” Habitat homes to make money. It will also help ensure that the property remains affordable.

How does GAP tackle these challenges?

Within our GAP housing model (which also operates within the parameters of Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive for those applicants who are purchasing a home for the first time), only a 5 per cent down payment on the home is needed, even if its market value significantly exceeds $500,000. This payment also includes closing costs for the sale. 

The home payments are also made much more affordable with GAP, because the homeowner is only required to make payments on a minimum $400,000* mortgage, rather than having to make payments based on the entire value of the home**.

When will Habitat HM roll out this model?

Habitat HM is very excited to announce that we’re rolling out our GAP housing model very soon, as we’re currently looking into including this model in upcoming projects and properties. Keep your eyes peeled for updates! 

*may change based on individual debt circumstances

**program and mortgage details subject to change at the discretion of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

To read more about the city of Mississauga’s commitment to affordable housing, click here


Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga is a proud member of our national organization Habitat Canada and is one of 54 local Habitat affiliates across our country. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership. We provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. You can find out more about Habitat Canada at habitat.ca.

By: Olivia Kabelin

The History of Habitat for Humanity Mississauga

The seventh largest city in Canada, Mississauga, welcomed a Habitat affiliate to their city in 2006, the rest is history

In Canada’s seventh largest city, a group of creative and committed people came together with the vision to start a Habitat affiliate in Mississauga. After community consultations, the group formed a Steering Committee in 2004 and went through the various applications for incorporation, charitable registration and affiliation. They began the process optimistically believing that they had a good cross-section of skills and that it would be a slam dunk to be approved. They quickly learned that to meet all the requirements would take over two years. They began the process for approval, and achieved that goal by March 2006. Habitat for Humanity Mississauga was finally a reality, but the hard work was about to start.

On the Steering Committee was a man named Doug Clark, who was a recently retired CA with a local construction company. Doug’s wife Terry had suggested to Doug that he get involved with the start up. His leadership skills were quickly recognized by the group and he succeeded William Cody as Chair in 2004. His drive and ambition was instrumental in moving the group through the affiliation process and guiding the affiliate through the ups and downs until he retired from the Board in 2010.  

Terry was very supportive of Doug’s involvement with the new Habitat affiliate.  Their home was the hub of the organization. They welcomed volunteers in to hold meetings, organize events and manage the first build. Numerous phone calls, messages and knocks at the door became the norm. Their home was always open. 

Enersource Corporation commited $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity’s inaugaral home building Project in Mississauga.
Habitat Board Chair Doug Clark received a giant cheque from Chair of the Enersource Corporation Board of Directors Norm Loberg Tuesday at the Enersource Offices.
Staff photo by Fred Loek

In 2005, when the Mississauga affiliate needed to mobilize the family selection committee, Doug knew the perfect person for the job. Terry, who was a special needs teacher. She was well suited for the task and she dove into it.    

Both Doug and Terry became true advocates for Habitat for Humanity.  They were the heart and soul of the organization for many years and their passion, drive and belief in the value affordable housing can bring to a family inspired many. 

In 2006, Habitat Mississauga had a huge list of volunteers and no money.  Getting out into the community was essential to success. Home shows, info centres and festivals were attended.  Volunteers were excited to help grow the affiliate and remained loyal as they waited for the first build. 

Raising funds was an ongoing challenge. Various initiatives were undertaken. The Bread and Honey Festival hosted the first annual corporate Playhouse Challenge with Bryan Baeumler, host of HGTV’s Disaster DIY as the judge in 2008. Playhouses were constructed by groups and then auctioned off. Golf tournaments helped to reach many future corporate sponsors. 

A big break came in 2007, when Enersource Mississauga approached the affiliate to express an interest in sponsoring the very first home in the city. Their generous $100,000 sponsorship made finding an appropriate parcel of land easier.  

Vacant land is not easily attained or affordable in our corner of the GTA. Thanks to Mississauga Councillor George Carlson, a parcel of land in Streetsville was presented as a good possibility. With his support, it was a proud day in April, 2008 when Doug Clark, Treasurer John McCallum and PR Chair John Roe persuaded the Region of Peel to part with a section of the land. Finally there was land and the much needed financial resources to get started on the first build. The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 17, 2009 at Earl St. in Mississauga.

Available land continued to be scarce over the next several years. However, the Board found creative ways to provide housing. In partnership the Daniels Corporation, they purchased an unfinished townhome, at a discounted price, in a Daniels’ First Home Community. Volunteers contributed 3,312 hours to finish the interior.  The keys to Erin Centre Blvd. were passed to the family in May 2011. A renovation to a townhome on South Millway in 2014 and the acquisition of an uninhabitable property on Mariner Court in the same year would bring the number of homes to four. 

The ReStore is important to the financial management of any affiliate. In 2011, the ReStore Committee along with the Ivey School of Business MBA program developed the ReStore business plan. With the generous support of Sobeys, who provided an employee as project lead, support of its numerous business partners and a large group of dedicated volunteers, the 17,000 sq. ft. Argentia Rd. facility was opened in March, 2012. 

In 2010, another key person came on the scene. Recruited by John Roe, Patti Kishimoto joined the Affiliate Board. She brought new energy and quickly took on the task of finding an office location. She was also instrumental in the process of opening our Argentia Road ReStore location.  

Patti never avoided a difficult situation. When the ReStore needed support, she rolled up her sleeves and worked with Terry and others in shifts to run the ReStore. She did this for several months. In 2015, Patti supported the transition to the amalgamated affiliate and continues to be a voice for Mississauga on the Board of Directors of Halton-Mississauga.

After completing their third build, Board Chair John Gardiner was freed up to look at and address the strategic issues facing the affiliate. Recognizing the challenges the affiliate faced, the Board initiated discussions with Habitat Halton about a possible merger. After extensive discussions over several months, the two affiliates merged in 2015.

Reflecting on the history of Habitat Mississauga, Doug and Terry Clark were very proud of what was accomplished at the affiliate. “Through our almost 10 years, a lot of people were involved. We met some great people, formed some great friendships and we put four families in homes, which is the most important thing. It’s the thing by which affiliates should measure their success.”   

 

Third Annual CUMIS Playhouse Build raises money for more homes

This week, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga (HFHHM) and CUMIS/The Co-operators partnered for the third time to host one of Habitat’s most innovative and impactful fundraising programs, the CUMIS Playhouse Build-a-thon.

Hosted at the CUMIS office in Burlington June 4-6, 75 employee volunteers assembled, painted and decorated imaginative children’s playhouses. On the final day of the build (June 6, 2019) playhouses were judged based on the quality of the build, creativity, sale-ability of the finished product and amount of fun had by volunteer teams. In addition to building the playhouses, CUMIS presented a $25,000 donation HFHHM, reinforcing CUMIS’ commitment to the local Halton community.

“We are thrilled to be back at CUMIS for the third year in a row,” said John Gerrard, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. “Every year we return, and every year we are blown away by the enthusiasm and engagement of the CUMIS staff.”

We really are blown away by the level of support we receive from events like the CUMIS Playhouse Build. This year in particular, the creativity shown in the designs of the playhouses was second to none.

“The passion and creativity from our volunteers make this event one of our most cherished – it’s a lot of fun for our teams,” explained David Forestell, VP Finance and Life Operations, CUMIS.  “We value our longstanding partnership with Habitat as it reinforces our commitment to build more resilient communities.”

The completed playhouses are now available for purchase at HFHHM’s ReStore locations in Burlington and Mississauga with proceeds from the sale helping to build affordable Habitat homes for hard-working, low-income families in need. But hurry up and visit our ReStores because they’ll all be gone soon!

In addition to the CUMIS Playhouse Build-a-thon, The Co-operators has been involved in local Habitat builds in other communities and developed the ReClaim program which provides ReStores with quality materials salvaged from home insurance claims.

CATCH 18 was responsible for several stud signing campaigns, raising money in high schools

Building our community with CATCH 18

CATCH 18 was responsible for several stud signing campaigns, raising money in high schools

In our 20 years of building homes in this community, we have worked with some of the most dedicated, inspired people you could ever meet. Every single day we work with individuals that want to see their neighbourhoods become a more inclusive and equitable space for people from all walks of life. However, it’s safe to say we have never worked with an organization quite like CATCH 18.

For those who don’t know. CATCH 18 is a grassroots group of local organizations, including Knights of Columbus, Catholic Women’s League, schools, churches, local businesses and individuals. CATCH 18 brings these groups and individuals together to inform the community about Habitat for Humanity and building a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.

CATCH 18 is an acronym for Communities Aligning to Create Habitats 2018. The groups that make up CATCH 18 plan and host fundraising events, then pool the money together to donate to Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga.

We are so inspired by this grassroots support. It was this same community spirit that brought Habitat for Humanity to Halton in the first place, and we’re so happy to see it alive and well.

High schools have held football tournaments, barbecues, and stud signing campaigns. Holy Rosary and St.Gabriel’s Church have placed donation bins on their property for Habitat, raising thousands of dollars for our charity in the process.

There are so many groups that have contributed to CATCH 18 in one way or another, and we wanted to take a moment to thank each and every single one of them:

  • Knights of Columbus Council 15920 Burlington
  • Holy Rosary Catholic Women’s League
  • Holy Rosary Catholic Church
  • Retired Teachers of Ontario District 15
  • St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic Church
  • St. Gabriel’s Elementary School
  • ON Semi Conductor
  • Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School
  • Assumption Catholic Secondary School
  • Holy Rosary Church Congregation
  • Business Insurance Services & Alumni Insurance Services
  • Louise Ann Bladek
  • Anonymous Donations

To date, donations from CATCH 18 have totaled upwards of $18,990!

On top of their fundraising initiatives, CATCH 18 is teaching today’s youth how to give back and are now seeing the benefit in investing in something small. Students from Holy Rosary visited Notre Dame High School as part of CATCH 18 to learn about the life cycle of plants. The older students showed them how to plant seeds and help them grow. The goal was to show the elementary students how to dedicate yourself to something small, to take care of it and watch it develop into something strong over time.

CATCH 18 is not limited to youth initiatives however. The Retired Teachers of Ontario District 15 applied for a grant to help Habitat HM purchase bathroom materials for our Crew-Goetz Landing Project. The Holy Rosary Catholic Women’s league also sold flowers, pies and cookies to fundraise for Crew-Goetz.

CATCH 18 is all about committing to an idea that’s larger than yourself. It’s about coming together as a community to make a real, lasting change. If we’re ever going to build a world where everyone has a place to call home, it’s because of organizations like CATCH 18. We can all learn from the collective action taken by a group of people that want to see a community change for the better.

Thank you CATCH 18 for making such an impact on our charity and community. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next.

If you want to help CATCH 18 reach their goal of home sponsorship on our Crew-Goetz Landing build project click here! Your donation will directly help a family in our community finally realize the dream of home ownership.

The first framing day for a Habitat volunteer is always a powerful moment. Beverley says it was one of the top ten memorable moments of her life

My First Framing Day – A Habitat Build Story

On Saturday, September 21, 2002 I attended my first Framing Day Event for Habitat For Humanity. A day that will always remembered as one of the top ten remarkable days in my life.

When I first signed up for Framing Day I tried to convince my friend Susan that it would be best if I made sandwiches and coffee for the workers, as I had no idea how to hammer a nail into wood. Well, my offer to make sandwiches was kindly declined, but my general offer to help out was accepted and I was immediately assigned to a working crew. I reluctantly agreed and secretly thought they would realize their error come Framing Day.

The morning of September 21 dawned and I was anything but comfortable. It had rained the night before so I thought maybe they would cancel… in case it started to rain again.  Then I thought, “well maybe I should just stay home,” because – after all – didn’t I know better than them how incompetent and incapable I would be with a hammer in hand on a construction site?  This went on for about an hour until I realized that the bottom line was I had made a commitment that I needed to honour. So off I went to Framing Day.

Upon arrival I met Fran who guided me through the struggles of finding a construction hat and a pair of boots that fit (no easy task for someone with size 5 shoes)!  I was then instructed to go see “Tom” my crew leader. Upon my announcement that I had returned and was ready for work I was asked if I had a hammer. As I stood there dumbfounded and dismayed at my own stupidity for not having even thought to ask for a hammer, some kind soul named “Fred” offered to find me one.  

Now I was ready for work!

Having been given my instructions, I started the task of hammering nails into 2 x 4’s.  Well imagine my lack of surprise when my crew leader promptly interceded and kindly suggested I wasn’t hammering properly!

Hence,  Lesson # 1 on how to hammer a nail commenced. I listened carefully and then tried to follow through with my new set of instructions.

Hence, Lesson #2 unfolded with the opening question, do you golf? A “No” response brought about a re-grouping of thoughts in the mind of my crew leader as he once again tried to explain the science of hammering a nail into a piece of wood.  

It turns out it all has to do with where you hold the hammer, the placement of your feet, the positioning of your body weight, how you lean, the angle of the nail and the placement of the hammer when it makes contact with the nail.  So off I went to hammer and though I didn’t always follow form I did improve upon my early beginnings.

As the morning wore on I started to learn some lingo: “in” and “out” nailing, the “high side” of a 2×4, sheeting, and stapling. Then came the big moment when I was informed it was time to raise the wall. With great excitement I took a place in line beside a fellow builder (I was starting to feel more comfortable in my boots) and awaited further instructions. However, my new colleague kindly informed me that I had best move down a tad as I was standing directly in front of the window! Finally, the big moment arrived when, on the count of three, everyone was lined up and ready to ensemble raise the wall. One, two, three, lift and voila, the back wall of the house was standing! At that moment I experienced such a surge of joy…imagine, I had contributed to the building of a wall!

Together, we built and raised all four walls that day along with some of the interior walls.  And around mid-day there was a moment of truth, when someone said, “Do you know why we are doing this Bev?”  He pointed to the house next door (Burlington’s first Habitat for Humanity Home) and to where two children were playing in the yard. Then he said, “That’s why we are doing this!”

That day, I saw folks working together to help one another.  I saw people acting out their belief that every one needs a home and that together we can make this happen.  So to Habitat for Humanity I say thank you for the opportunity to help build a home and build hope!

Beverley O’Connell

fighting food insecurity with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

How Habitat Helps Put Food on the Table

fighting food insecurity with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

Having three meals a day, with a snack or two in between, is a routine most of us take for granted.

For families in need, daily life is a delicate balance of making ends meet. This means having enough financial resources to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, warm clothes in the winter, and addressing the myriad of expenses that come with the typical day to day.

According to the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA), 12.6 per cent of Canadians suffer from food insecurity – the uncertainty and insufficiency of food availability and access due to resource constraints*. This means that spending for food will sometimes have to take the back seat to other costs of living, like making rent or paying the mortgage.

Studies by PROOF, a food insecurity policy research program, show that almost half of food insecure households are those with children, so that approximately 1 in 6 Canadian children are affected. Single mother households are particularly vulnerable. Further, renters make up two-thirds of food insecure households.

The domino effect caused by food insecurity is staggering. Imagine trying to figure out where your next meal is coming from, on top of all the other problems that crop up in daily life. Beyond the hunger pangs, this stressor is linked to poor mental health and even vulnerability to chronic disease in children and adults. This, in turn, puts additional strain on the healthcare system.

Since housing costs are an integral part of the equation, accounting for huge portion of household spending, this is where Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga can help.

Habitat for Humanity aims to make home ownership accessible for all families in need, this includes seniors, single-parent families, and for survivors of abuse. We believe everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live.

At the core of Habitat’s housing model is the commitment to ensure that families in need have access to housing that is affordable. Housing is affordable when mortgage installments take up no more than 30 per cent of a household’s before-tax income. In our model, there is no down payment required and payments are interest-free, all over 30 years. This provides stability for the families, with no income shocks that will force them to choose between keeping the lights on or having dinner. Habitat homeowners even report a 60 per cent reduction in usage of food bank services after moving into their Habitat home.

Partner families also complete education sessions to teach them everything from home economics to home maintenance, to the fine print of insurance and legalities of home ownership to prepare them for the next chapter of their lives.

Lastly, partner families also render 500 volunteer hours as part of their housing grant. Friends and families can help complete up to 200 hours of this requirement, giving them a chance to give back and be instrumental in giving the next family their much-needed break in life.

If you believe in building more desperately needed affordable housing, donate today at habitathm.ca/donate

*Wunderlich and Norwood, 2006: 49

Handyman

Handyman services for every job and every person

Handyman

A Handyman for Everyone

Oftentimes, the best home is the home you already have. But after working so hard to get that home, you find out that there’s still a lot of work to be done in keeping that home in safe and decent condition.

We at Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga are ready to lend that helping hand to anyone who needs it through our Handyman program. If you live in Mississauga, Milton, Acton, Georgetown, Burlington or Oakville, we are ready to provide trusted, reliable, quality home repair and renovation services at competitive prices.

No Job is Too Small, Really

We repeat the phrase “No job is too small,” very often, but we feel like we need to reiterate that we will take on any handyman job you need help with, no matter the size of the project.

“We’ve literally installed one medicine cabinet in a bathroom”, says Sandleen Azam, Handyman Halton-Mississauga’s program manager.  

The Habitat Handyman program was officially launched last November, initially as a way to help seniors in the community. The goal was to help improve the safety and accessibility of their homes so they could age in place instead of moving to a retirement home, which would ultimately be more costly. We installed grab bars, handrails, wheelchair ramps and helped them with small jobs like installing picture frames. A job so small that it’s normally difficult to get contractors to come out to do. Shortly after its launch, we opened up our services to be available for anyone in the community so that everyone has a decent place they can call home.

What We Do

Click the arrow to see the a-la-carte menu of the handyman services we provide! 

Interior Exterior Assembly and Accessibility
  • Bathroom (re-glazing, silicone, re-grouting, etc.)
  • Cabinet removal/installation
  • Drywall installation/repair
  • Sink/countertop removal installation
  • Painting (walls, baseboard/trim, doors, etc.)
  • Installation/maintenance of attic insulation
  • Kitchen/bathroom repairs
  • Kitchen backsplash installation (ceramic/metal/glass)
  • Flooring installation/repair
  • Small jobs (hanging picture frames, mounting shelves, replacing faucets etc.)
  • Exterior pressure washing
  • Deck repair/renovation
  • Painting
  • Shed repair/maintenance
  • Vinyl siding installation/repair
  • Fence repair/maintenance
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Furniture
  • Picnic tables
  • Shed kits
  • Appliance installation (specialty hood fans, dishwashers, waterline for refrigerators, etc.)
  • Grab bar
  • Handrails
  • Wheelchair ramp
And more!
  • Office Building/Property Maintenance
  • Kitchen Salvage and Deconstruction Services


“We’ve gone off menu too,” Sandleen adds. “It really depends on what’s needed. Generally, it’s anything that isn’t part of regular maintenance. We don’t shovel snow from the driveway, for example. We basically focus on projects that need trade skills – carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, masonry, sometimes even a little landscaping. It may seem pretty simple but it’s safer for everyone if someone with experience does it.”

Aside from the services listed above, the Handyman team has additionally taken on jobs like changing light fixtures, replacing the stonework in a garden, demolition services, moving furniture, installation of blinds, hanging of mirrors and mounting of shelves. 

Quality with a Heart

Our resident site manager and Habitat Handyman, Jared, is a licensed Red Seal Carpenter with over 15 years of experience in contract work all over the GTA. We also partner with trusted contractors to execute specialty services such as roofing, electrical and plumbing work. Their work is supported by a team of volunteers whose participation helps keep the costs down and pricing competitive vis-a-vis current market rates.

Low-income families and seniors may be eligible for our special reduced pricing stream if they qualify under the High Needs Household Income criteria of the Provincial Government’s Housing Services Act. Check if you qualify by clicking here.

Help Yourself and Pay it Forward at the Same Time

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization. We want to share this program with everyone, not just families in need, because we want to help all homeowners live in a decent housing environment. At the same time, profits from the repairs go into our home building fund. Not only do you get quality work at competitive prices, but you also have the added benefit of contributing towards someone’s dream of owning their own home someday, and all the physical, emotional and social well-being that comes with it.

Schedule a FREE consultation now through habitathm.ca/handyman-program or if you have skills you want to share, contact to join the Handyman team today!

Letter from the CEO: Building a better future together

When I started at Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, I signed on to help build a world where every person has a place to call their own. As the CEO of my affiliate, my responsibility for achieving this goal falls within the catchment area of Halton and Mississauga. However, that does not make me blind to the dozens of Habitats in Canada working to do the same thing in their own communities.

For those that are unaware, Habitat for Humanity operates on an affiliate structure. Although we all work under the Habitat for Humanity banner, much of the work we do is independent of each other.

I’d like that to change.

We all have the same goal, to live in a world where everyone lives in a safe, decent and affordable home of their own. Every Habitat works towards finding solutions to the growing gap between the need and availability of  housing.

So why are we duplicating our work across each affiliate, sometimes right on top of each other?

In order to truly build a world without housing insecurity, we should be actively working to maximize Habitat for Humanity’s build capacity and efficiency. We should be seen not just as a worthy cause to donate to, but as the solution to the ongoing affordable housing crisis in Canada.

That’s why we believe that a shared-service model is the way forward for Habitat for Humanity in Canada.

Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga already works with other non-profits within our community in mutually beneficial partnerships. This has allowed us to help more people and increase our efficiency. By partnering with the Region and other non-profits we can outsource our family selection process to charities already doing the same work. If we can share services with other charities, we should be able to do so within our own organization.

Habitat HM has built a home for Community Living North Halton for a family of men on the autism spectrum. We have also built a second-stage transitional home for Halton Women’s Place. In both cases we were able to build for them to help them to do the work they do in the community.

We need everyone to start the discussion about collaboration, breaking down the silos and encouraging not-for-profit partners to work together on building homes.

If we had affiliates that specialized in certain tasks, construction, procurement, communications, events, ReStore operations, or planning and development, we could reduce the number of tasks each affiliate has to do, and flatten some of the obstacles we all face. We could spend time focusing on ways to increase the amount of housing in each of our communities instead of inventing new ways to tackle the same problems across the country.

Every affiliate has its own set of unique challenges and obstacles to overcome, and a deep understanding of the local landscape is important to solving these problems. We believe that by streamlining the tasks that are universal to all Habitats it will free us up to build more homes and help more people live happier, healthier lives.

Together I believe we are bigger, better, and stronger. Together we can start to close the gap.

 

John Gerrard
CEO
Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

Modern Door DIY with HGTV’s Brian McCourt

We are celebrating #worlddiyday this year with a new DIY video from our friend and star of HGTV’s Backyard Build’s Brian McCourt!

Brian visited us in the ReVive DIY Centre to show us how to transform any flat panel door into a sleek, amazing modern door.

Watch the video below, and get inspired to do it yourself! Flat panel doors can be found in any of our three ReStore locations.

Book your team day at ReVive today! Contact

Getting into DIY has never been easier, thanks to our ReVive DIY Centre. Located at 4500 Dixie Road, ReVive is a one of a kind product development and upcycling centre. We utilize DIY experts and volunteers to breathe life into new items, and use donated materials to craft designer items to be sold in our ReStores.

The ReVive Centre is also a green-oriented initiative, diverting thousands of pounds of material from ending up in the landfill. Find out more about ReVive here.

Watch the other Brian McCourt videos on our YouTube Channel – and make sure to subscribe!