Letter from the CEO: Habitat Halton-Mississauga launches Deferred Homeownership Model

On May 4th, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga will officially break ground on The Crew-Goetz Landing build project. The day will be a celebration of a number of milestones. The build at 2384 Queensway is the single largest build project in Habitat HM history. Eighteen families will have a safe and decent place to call their own at at the completion of the Queensway project. At the same time, we will be celebrating the launch of our innovative new home ownership model. Our new Deferred Home Ownership model is truly game-changing. It blends the line between traditional home ownership and renting, and benefits our partner families, Habitat, and our shared community of Halton and Peel.

Under this new model Habitat Halton-Mississauga will partner with families and individuals, in a similar fashion to our traditional partnership agreements. Our new model differs by delaying complete ownership of the property for 20 years. At the end of the 20-year mark, the family will be given the opportunity to take ownership and apply their accumulated rent towards the home. Alternatively, they can take their principle and apply it to a home in the open market. If a family decides to leave the partnership before the time is up, Habitat will reimburse the funds put into the home, and take back the property to be given to another family in need. This is different from our previous method of transferring homes where, in the past, families could sell the homes a short period after obtaining ownership of the property.

As the price of building homes continues to rise, and available land in Halton and Peel continues to decrease, the cost to replace these homes is significant. Our new model will ensure our homes are not affected by the fluctuations in the housing market, creating more space for families and individuals in need of safe and decent housing.

One of the key benefits of Deferred Home Ownership is that it circumvents condominium fees, which take away valuable funds from a family’s principal. Without condo fees attached, Habitat provides ongoing home maintenance and support to all of our families, including financial literacy and coaching. Additionally, it opens up new possibilities for our homes to be funded through a combination of community partners, our affiliate and the family.

The Crew-Goetz Landing Build Project will be offered under our deferred home ownership model

This system provides our families with a new pathway to more affordable homes. At the same time, it allows us to continue to give families in-need affordable homes when others do not need them anymore. This ensures an increase in available affordable Habitat housing over time.

Once our partnership families have received the titles to their homes, they can feel comfortable that they worked hard to help pay for the property. Families can experience the security of knowing that their rent is geared towards their income while having the responsibilities that come with owning a home. Our new model will significantly improve home distribution in our community and bring Habitat closer to safe and affordable housing for all.

Join us on May 4th for our groundbreaking ceremony at 2384 Queensway Drive. So much work has gone into getting to this point, but in many ways it is just the beginning. Come celebrate with Habitat as we start a new chapter in Halton and Peel. We hope to see you there.

John Gerrard
CEO Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga