Pictured (from left to right): Tara Petch (Director of Partnerships, Habitat HM), Bob Van de Vrande (2019 RAHB President), Tim Mattioli (RAHB member, former HOAP board member), Bruce Moran (RAHB member, former HOAP board member), and John Gerrard (CEO, Habitat HM)
You might assume that the sole job of a REALTORS® association is to provide real estate professionals with the tools necessary to sell homes in the surrounding neighbourhoods. However, some associations go above and beyond to actively support their community. RAHB has set themselves apart by becoming involved in real estate issues at the local, provincial, and national levels.
During this past summer, the REALTORS® Association of Hamiton-Burlington donated over $38-thousand to Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. Their generous donation went right into supporting our Crew-Goetz Landing Build, which will provide homes for 18 families in need.
In holding the same value of affordable homeownership for all, it’s no mystery as to why Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga and RAHB REALTORS® joined forces to support those in need among our district.
“The Burlington community is becoming increasingly less affordable, and if we can help even one family in need achieve the dream of owning a home and set roots within the community, we’ve achieved one of our goals,” said RAHB, “We believe in the power of housing.”
RAHB’s answer to unaffordability on the rise? The Home Ownership Affordability Program (HOAP).
Established in 2004, HOAP’s objective was to meet the needs of low-income families living in Hamilton, Burlington, and their surrounding communities. HOAP worked to assist families in acquiring and owning acceptable residential housing. This was achieved by purchasing homes in need of TLC and renovating them for local families. These homes would then become available for families living in subsidized housing who were able to qualify for a mortgage. The family would work with a local REALTOR® to purchase the home and then that REALTOR® would donate their commission back into HOAP.
It was after 11 homes had been revived and purchased by families that it became apparent that HOAP was no longer sustainable. As home prices rose, the ability to purchase and renovate homes in the Hamilton-Burlington area diminished. With program funds remaining, they knew who to call: Habitat for Humanity. HOAP and RAHB went on to donate these leftover funds, splitting them between Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga and Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.
“The partnership between RAHB and Habitat for Humanity could not be a more perfect fit. Both Habitat and RAHB believe in the power of home ownership – especially affordable home ownership. As home prices continue to rise, an organization that aids families to afford a roof over their head will become even more vital. We hope that our donation will not only have an impact today, but create a conversation on the necessity of stable and affordable housing in the various communities that we represent,” said RAHB associates.
With a Build Day scheduled alongside Habitat HM in October, the team at RAHB continues to give back to their community. We can’t wait to see them on site!
We are so thankful for the support and donations of our partners in the community. Without the generosity of individuals and organizations such as RAHB, Habitat HM would not be able to continue in our mission of a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
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 home ownership. 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: Rebecca Mitchell
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