The history of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

Group of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga construction site volunteers

For nearly two decades, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga has provided safe and affordable homes for low-income families living in poor housing conditions.

Donations from the public and corporations, volunteers that spend their time at our ReStores and Habitat staff all play an important in Habitat’s mission of affordable homeownership.

In celebration of World Habitat Day, October 1st, here is a closer look at the history of our organization.

Memorial of Habitat for Humanity founders

How it all began

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1971 by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Georgia, U.S.A. Through the influence of Koinonia Farm (a small religious community in southwest Georgia) founder Clarence Jordan, the Fullers began on their journey of building homes for families in need and developing the concept of “partnership-housing.”

The first home that was built by Habitat was for a family of seven in Koinonia. The home was decently sized and included a modern kitchen, an indoor bathroom and heating system, which was completely unlike their previous housing conditions.

Habitat for Humanity International was later founded in 1976 after the Fullers had spent three years launching a house building program in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo). Habitat for Humanity now has locations in over 70 countries, including Canada.

Habitat for Humanity Canada

Habitat for Humanity was established in Canada in 1985, with the first home built in Winkler, Man. Two years later, Winnipeg became the first local Habitat in Canada. Habitat Canada now has 56 local affiliates, including our very own Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. Habitat for Humanity Canada builds homes in all ten provinces and each of the three territories.

Along with the local Habitats, the concept of a ReStore was introduced in 1991 to help raise funds for builds, cover administration costs, and allow more families to partner with Habitat, along with accessing affordable homeownership. It was also founded in Winnipeg, Man.

Gently used items are donated to the ReStores and then resold to the community at 30 to 70 per cent of the retail price. There are now close to 100 ReStores in Canada and more than 1,000 ReStores worldwide.

Habitat today

Our Halton-Mississauga location was founded in 1999, and since then we have housed over 40 families in affordable homes in Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, Acton and Halton Hills.

The first home we built was for the Briggs family in 2001 on Plains Road, Burlington. For the next decade and a half, we have continued to build safe and affordable homes for hardworking, low-income families in need.

In 2015, the merging of Halton and Mississauga was formed to be more efficient to serve communities on a wider affiliate. Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga serves the cities of Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Milton and the Halton Hills.

Additionally, our ReStore right here in Burlington is voted #1 in Canada for its excellent customer service and for providing great quality donated items that are resold to the community at discounted prices. 

The future of Habitat

Habitat for Humanity is an ever-growing organization with locations worldwide, as mentioned before.

At Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, our goal of building 75 homes in the GTA by 2019 is well underway. We are planning to build more multi-unit homes and greatly increase the units we build so that more families can realize the dream of homeownership.

The process of selecting our partner families for affordable homeownership will be undergoing a makeover in the upcoming year. The need for affordable housing is greater than ever and there are many families who are on a waitlist for subsidized housing in Halton and Peel Regions.

As an organization, we need to increase our scale to serve these families. We are looking to partner up with other local organizations to help select partner families to build homes for. By allowing other organizations to select the partner families, we will have more time to focus on constructing the houses.

Volunteer painting a house

Want to contribute to our mission?

To support Habitat’s cause of providing homes for every low-income families in need, you can contribute a one-time or monthly donation that will go towards building homes for families in need. 

Other ways to support our organization can be through volunteering at our ReStores or ReVive Centre, donating used furniture or appliances to our ReStores, and more! Visit this link for more information.

With the support from our community, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga will continue to provide safe and affordable housing for hard-working, low-income families in need.

By Jasminder Khehra