Nov 22, 2016 2:58 PM
Why does housing matter? Because too many children spend their life living in unsafe, inadequate and often deplorable housing conditions. That’s why National Housing Day is important – a day to bring attention to how important having access to a safe, decent and affordable place to live is, as well as how many people in our local community do not have that.
“We are currently in the midst of family selection for Lake Trail Road in Courtenay, BC and some of the homes that people are living in are deplorable,” explains Patrick McKenna, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Executive Director. “We may think the communities of Campbell River and the Comox Valley are immune to the ‘big city’ problem of affordable housing, but in fact we are leading in the wrong direction. Vacancy rates are at all time lows, and the need for affordable housing is more urgent than ever before.”
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North helps families in Campbell River and the Comox Valley access safe, decent and affordable housing. Habitat’s innovative model of affordable homeownership helps bridge the gap between social/rental housing and market housing. It frees up much needed units in social or rental housing for Canadians, as thirty-seven per cent of Habitat families that buy their own home come directly from social housing.
“Affordable homeownership – the focus of our work in Canada – has benefits that reach far beyond four walls,” says Mark Rodgers, Habitat Canada’s President and CEO. “Families living in Habitat homes reduce their reliance on food banks, have better educational and employment outcomes as well as improved health.”
On behalf of the 56 Habitat Affiliates across Canada, Habitat for Humanity Canada made the following recommendations during consultations with the federal government on a National Housing Strategy:
- Reduce the level of core housing need for vulnerable groups through investments in Indigenous housing, homelessness, affordable rental housing and maintaining and expanding the stock of social housing.
- Work with Indigenous communities to create and implement an Indigenous Housing Strategy.
- Invest in Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership program over the next eight years to create new affordable homes and renovate additional homes in northern communities.
To support our local Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing affordable homeownership to North Vancouver Island families, follow this link to donate today.
Did you know?
- The Habitat for Humanity model is based on a partnership between the family, the community, volunteers, the private sector and, at times, with modest one-time contributions from different orders of governments. In many cases, Habitat works with local skills and apprentice programs. For example, our local chapter partnered with students from North Island College on our most recent Campbell River build.
- Habitat families work alongside volunteers to help build their homes and pay an affordable, no-interest mortgage geared to the family’s income level.
- The average Habitat home generates $175,000 of benefits to society.
- Habitat’s affordable home ownership program has created a social return on investment of $500 million over the last 30 years.