FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Program to provide an affordable housing solution to address the deep inequalities across our society
Burlington, ON. (November 3, 2021) – The pandemic has reinforced the urgency of addressing the deep inequalities across our society, bringing the affordable housing crisis in Canada to the forefront. As part of the vision to provide a world where everyone has a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin (Habitat HMD) today announced the launch of its distinctive Tiny Home pilot program.
Hugh Hyndman, Board Chair, Habitat HMD, explains: “As an organization that builds homes, Habitat is known for putting a spotlight on community needs and community-based solutions. The Tiny Home demonstration project is a unique opportunity to pilot an innovative housing solution with a First Nations Community.”
Habitat’s Indigenous Housing Partnership connects and works alongside Indigenous communities to provide a foundation for families to thrive. The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, our housing partners on this pilot project, will work in conjunction with Habitat HMD and Habitat Grey Bruce, to establish affordable housing options for Indigenous community members. Habitat HMD’s role as the builder will bring together skilled trades students, corporate partners and the community to help us build five tiny homes – two serving as emergency shelters and three to provide affordable housing solutions for individuals and small families. The Tiny Home Village will be fully site serviced and operated by the Chippewas community as part of their housing strategy to increase their available housing stock.
Chief Veronica Smith comments on the partnership with Habitat, “The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation is excited about the work we are doing through our Habitat ‘Indigenous Housing’ Partnerships who help us to meet family needs in the community! Not only are we building affordable homes in our community using innovation and state-of-the-art design, but we are providing hands-on training for students in the housing and construction trades. We appreciate the dedication and skills coming to our First Nation; building lasting relationships and sharing in cultural exchanges at the same time.”
In collaboration with the Halton District School Board (HDSB), over 100 students in secondary school skilled trades classes will have hands-on experience of building units designed by True North Tiny Homes Inc. as part of the high school curriculum. Under the direction of their faculty and our Tiny Home project lead, students will participate in the program over the course of the school year. By engaging youth, Habitat HMD is educating young people about the need for affordable housing, empowering them to take action in their communities, and providing them with the opportunity to gain real-life work experience under the instruction of trained industry professionals.
Wade Richardson OYAP, Pathways with the HDSB, explains the schools’ involvement in this new pilot: “Students from Georgetown District High School, Milton District High School, and M.M. Robinson High School in Burlington are fortunate to be involved in the building of these homes. Through this project, students will learn many aspects of construction while working with Habitat to understand societal needs and real-world solutions to those problems. This is a rare opportunity for students to grow as individuals and members of society, learning about community needs and how Habitat for Humanity is working to help others.”
“The Build program in partnership with Habitat HMD, has been one of the best and most unique teaching tools that I have been a part of,” adds Chris Jones, Head of Technology and Business/Build Program & Construction SHSM Lead – Milton District High School. “Our students will gain real-life experience while making a difference in many communities. Habitat has been an exceptional partner and I hope that this program continues for many years.”
Habitat HMD’s Project Sponsor Statements:
The key to Habitat’s success is partnerships and collaboration. Eden Grodzinski, CEO, Habitat HMD, explains: “Habitat’s partners power our work. The Tiny Home pilot would not be possible without the generous support of our project sponsors. Thanks to their investment, we are able to fund crucial elements to build these Tiny Homes, allowing us to expand our impact within First Nations communities.”
Nissan Canada – Marzena Mo, Senior Planner – Nissan Canada Foundation. ”The Nissan Canada Foundation is proud of our long-term partnership with Habitat for Humanity, through our transportation sponsorship, volunteer build days and yearly vehicle giveaway. This year, we are very grateful to participate in the Tiny Homes Project in support of our First Nation communities. Our philanthropic vision is “to improve the quality of life in the communities in which Nissan operates” and we thank you for the opportunity to help build a better future together.”
Whirlpool Canada – Stephen Stewart, Director Consumer Services & Supply Chain Operations. “Whirlpool has been a proud partner of Habitat for Humanity for over 22 years, donating appliances and volunteer hours for local builds. Our corporate mission is to help improve life at home, so it’s fitting that we partner with an organization like Habitat for Humanity who helps make homeownership more affordable for Canadians. We are thrilled this year to contribute to their Tiny Homes project to help provide First Nations communities with emergency shelter and short-term housing solutions.”
The Co-operators Group Limited – Chad Park, VP sustainability and citizenship, The Co-operators Group Limited.“As a longtime partner with Habitat for Humanity HMD, we share a commitment to meaningful community collaboration. Through this unique Tiny Homes program, we’re excited to see youth empowered to learn new skills while also giving back to their community.”
SagenTM – Carlo Montagnese Regional Vice President, Ontario. “We’re pleased to support the 2021 Tiny Home build of two Dragonfly units with Habitat Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin, in partnership with Habitat Grey Bruce and The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Community. The Tiny Home build program brings together opportunities for skilled trades students, educational institutions as well as engaging Sagen employee volunteers to create the Tiny Home Village. Through programs like these, we’re able to continue to support Habitat for Humanity in providing affordable homeownership for our communities.”
To schedule an interview with a Habitat HMD spokesperson, contact [email protected]. To learn more about Habitat HMD’s Tiny Home Pilot and how individuals and brands can get involved, visit: https://habitathm.ca/tiny-homes/
About Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin
Founded in 1999 as Habitat for Humanity Halton, the organization merged with Habitat for Humanity Mississauga in 2015. In 2021, Habitat Halton-Mississauga expanded its service area to include Dufferin County. Working with individual donors, government, corporate, community and construction partners – and channeling the selfless dedication of legions of volunteers – Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin is innovatively providing affordable housing solutions for the communities it serves. It is part of Habitat for Humanity Canada – a national, charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Nationally and internationally, Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable shelter. Established in 1976, Habitat for Humanity is currently the leading provider of affordable housing globally with operations in more than 70 countries. www.habitathm.ca.
About The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation occupy Neyaashiinigmiing Aboriginal Reserve No.27 on the east shore of the Saugeen (BRUCE) Peninsula on Georgian Bay. The nation is Named “Nawash” after Chief Nawash, who fought beside Tecumseh in the war of 1812. The present land base is 63.81 km2. The community is approximately 26 km from Wiarton, 64 km from Owen Sound, and 250 km from Toronto. www.nawash.ca
For more information &/or photography:
Julie Svensson Watt
Director of Communications
Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin
Email: [email protected]