Ontario is one of the most expensive provinces for home affordability in Canada, with Halton and Mississauga as some of the most costly regions. In April 2019, the average cost of a home in Halton reached $820,148, nearly 2 per cent higher than it was the year before. Housing costs are way out of scope for many families, and it’s been proven to take a toll on human health and overall quality of life. But signing a deal on a house isn’t the only battle, homeowners also face routine maintenance or installation costs. These services can be quite high, and over a period of time, can force people to vacate their homes. How can families, seniors and youth afford the cost of living in the Halton and Mississauga areas when safe and decent homes are unaffordable?
About Habitat Handyman
The Habitat Handyman Home Services Program started in August 2018 with these issues in mind. Initially as a project to help seniors, it eventually opened to become available for anyone in the community, including non-traditional families. We understood that seniors weren’t the only group facing housing difficulties; there are single parent families, people with physical disabilities, victims of domestic abuse and youth that are struggling to make ends meet. We wanted to make sure that everyone in the community has a fair chance to live in a safe and decent home. So, last November we started taking applications from anyone who needed a hand up.
What do we do?
Our Habitat Handyman, Jared, is the key to making this program work. As a licensed Red Seal Carpenter with over 15 years of contract work experience, Jared will get the job done. He has a group of skilled volunteers who help him along the way for mostly any job requested. For them, no job is too small – really. Our team has visited houses to help seniors hang paintings on a wall. We’ve installed a single medicine cabinet for another family, yet, we have the skills and qualifications to complete many other jobs larger than that. Flooring installation, drywall repair and painting are a few of the most common requests.
We do as much as we can to make sure your home is safe and accessible enough to live comfortably. This is mainly through projects that require trade skills – like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, and even landscaping – which may sometimes be simple tasks, but Handyman is here to make sure the job is done safely and correctly. We also do kitchen, bathroom and basement renovations, demolition services and fence repair. Some of the jobs we don’t do are shovelling driveways or mowing lawns, but you can check out a full list of our services here.
To make sure our program is financially accessible for all, we have different pricing streams to accommodate different income levels. This is so that we can make it fair for everyone to receive a quote they can afford. We base our prices off the High Needs Household Income criteria of the Provincial Government’s Housing Services Act. If you want to see if you qualify for our special reduced pricing stream, check out their requirements here.
How Handyman connects with Habitat’s vision
Handyman’s model fits with our vision because we are providing more opportunity for people in the community to live safely and comfortably. Oftentimes, seniors feel like their home is too difficult to maintain, and so they are forced to vacate their home and move into more expensive accommodation, like retirement homes with special care. In other circumstances, parents of children with special needs may need particular features, like wheelchair ramps or handrails. Handyman wants homeowners to feel like they can age in place without financial insecurity. Our vision is to make sure everyone has a safe and decent place they can call home, and we know that the services provided by Handyman can do just that.
Where does the money go?
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization. This means that revenue generated by Habitat Handyman covers its own administrative costs, and everything else goes towards our affordable home building projects across the Region of Halton and Mississauga. So when you choose Habitat Handyman, your payment towards a home service request is doing double duty. A drywall repair could buy us roofing; flooring installation could give someone heating, and a paint job could light up a house.
In any program that we run, Habitat for Humanity is working with a purpose. Our goal is a long-term vision, and our hardworking staff and volunteers keep that in mind in any job we do. With your support, Habitat will be able to build more homes in the Halton-Mississauga area. So far, we have helped over 40 families in the community. We want to go beyond that number and help as many families as we can, so we can finally see a lasting change in the community that we call home.
If you need a home improvement service, schedule a free consultation with Habitat Handyman at habitathm.ca/handyman-program or call (905) 637-4446 ext. 238.