Cobourg, ON – Yesterday, June 12, 2018, marked the beginning of Habitat for Humanity’s 20th year working to build affordable housing and provide local families with access to affordable homeownership in Northumberland County.
On June 12, 1998 a group of local committed volunteers officially founded a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Northumberland County. Many of these original volunteers became the first Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Northumberland and started the organization down a path of addressing the need for affordable housing in Northumberland County. That same year Habitat for Humanity Northumberland partnered with the Town of Cobourg and the Ontario Development Corporation to acquire the PMQ’s from the old military base along Alexandria Drive to kick off the Beacon Homes project. This project would last until 2016 when the final two houses, the 36th and 37th houses in the development, would be sold to two local families.
“The original Board Members and volunteers that started Habitat for Humanity in Northumberland County brought incredible vision and innovation to the Habitat program from the very beginning,” says Robert Gibson, current Chair of the Board for Habitat Northumberland. “With the first Habitat housing development, they took on 32 lots, most of which already housed existing buildings in need of renovation, which resulted in the first Habitat neighbourhood in Canada. The commitment from the original Habitat leadership to provide affordable homeownership through creative partnerships and housing opportunities established a culture that continues today among the staff, Board members and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Northumberland.”
Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity Northumberland has helped 54 families achieve strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. Over that time Habitat Northumberland has partnered with five of the local Municipalities, Northumberland County, Alderville First Nation, and the Province of Ontario to access land and funds to build and renovate houses. Companies, businesses and individuals across Northumberland County have donated funds, materials and labour to support families as they work alongside countless volunteers to build their dream of affordable homeownership. Donors, volunteers and shoppers at the ReStore have been instrumental in helping the Habitat program grow in the community in order to ensure more families have access to decent and affordable housing. Additional partners including Northumberland United Way and Northumberland County have supported the creation of a home repair program, ReNew It, which has helped 21 families maintain their housing.
With all of that tremendous work in mind, it is time to celebrate! Habitat for Humanity Northumberland will mark 20 years in Northumberland County by supporting 10 families either to achieve or maintain affordable homeownership this year. Over the coming year, Habitat Northumberland will also launch a special fundraising campaign for the 20th anniversary and hold several events to celebrate the incredible work being done across Northumberland County.
“The Habitat for Humanity program is about the community building a house, a family purchasing that house, and the mortgage payments from the family being invested into the fund to build more affordable homes,” says Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director. “Over the last 20 years the communities across Northumberland County have demonstrated their commitment to Habitat’s belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Volunteers, donors, and local businesses have come together time after time to support families on their path to affordable homeownership. We are so excited to be able to celebrate these wonderful achievements this year.”