Two very excited families are moving into their new homes in Lindsay thanks to Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region, local volunteers, and community partners. A Home Dedication Ceremony took place at 39 & 41 Hamilton Street in Lindsay, where supporters gathered to celebrate the 35th and 36th families that Habitat has helped into safe, decent and affordable housing.
“We prayed and dreamed for years about owning our own home – a place that is ours,” said Tara Sorensen. “It didn’t seem like it would ever happen!” Owning a home has been a lifelong goal for the Sorensen family: Tara, Sean, and their two children, Jahmes (4), and Sean Jr. (8 months). Despite working hard and earning a steady income, this goal felt far out of reach.
Like many families in the City of Kawartha Lakes, the Sorensen family faced barriers to home ownership prior to partnering with Habitat. The reality of low- or unsustainable-income levels and high housing costs presents challenges for families tying to save enough for a down payment or get a traditional mortgage from a bank.
Brea and Will Mills dreamed of having a safe and stable home for the healthy growth and development of their three young children, Hunter (4), Hadley (2), and Braxton (1).
“This will impact our children’s futures greatly,” said Brea Mills on moving into her Habitat home. “This will give our children stability and comfort. This will give our children a permanent, safe place to call home. We are so thankful and blessed to have this opportunity and would love to help build other homes for families like us!”
Building a Habitat home isn’t as simple as getting the keys and walking into a new home. Families qualify for a Habitat home based on their need for affordable housing, willingness to partner, and the ability to repay an interest free mortgage that is geared to income. All families who partner with Habitat are required to achieve 500 ‘sweat equity’ hours, by providing volunteer service on the build site, at the ReStore, and other Habitat initiatives.
“We partner with families to help them build and buy their own home through a unique affordable home ownership solution. With skyrocketing rental rates and the cost of housing at an all time high, it is not surprising that countless local families are spending close to 50% of their income on housing,” says Sarah Burke, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region. “The Habitat model works to strengthen not just the families who partner with our organization, but the neighbourhoods they come to call home as well.”
Housing that is affordable, safe, and decent plays a vital role in the overall strength of our neighbourhoods and health of our communities. Habitat uses its knowledge, skills, community relationships, volunteers and other resources to create and promote safe and affordable home ownership options with the aim of alleviating the cycle of poverty within the community – helping families build strength, stability and independence through affordable home ownership.
“One thing is constant for everyone in the world. No matter where we come from or how old we are, we all need a roof over our heads. But it goes even farther than that,” continues Burke.
“Owning a home in a safe and decent environment is the kind of strength and stability every family desires. With the help and hard work of our donors, volunteers, and staff, more families have affordable places to live, spaces where they can live healthier, gather together, build memories and plan for a brighter future.”