Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North welcomes ninth Partner Family served in Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay, and Tiny
Midland ON – Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (HFHOGN) has announced the selection of its newest homeowners in Midland, Ontario. The home, located at 808A Birchwood Drive is one of two semi-detached, affordable, energy-efficient, and universally accessible builds completed by HFHOGN in 2022.
“I grew up very poor. My mom mostly lived in small apartment buildings, and I never really had my own stable home,” says Richard Passa, partner of Maddie, and first-time dad to newborn Paisley. The couple called a basement apartment home for the last two years. For eighteen months of the two years, they fought the constant creep of black mould. “We tried to work with the landlord to have it removed. He told us it was our problem and we’d have to handle it ourselves. We did everything we could, but it kept coming back. When we found out Maddie was expecting, we knew we had to move or risk bringing a new baby into unsafe conditions.”
“With a waitlist for affordable housing of more than 4400 people in Simcoe County, we’re delighted to have the ability to offer this family a hand up,” says Kimberley Woodcock, HFHOGN CEO. “Affordable homeownership creates a new cycle of possibilities and progress and the benefits reach far beyond the Habitat homeowner. Our latest research shows that through reduced reliance on social housing and food banks, better education and employment outcomes and improved health, every Habitat home built helps create more than $200,000 worth of benefits for the local community.”
With significant funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the financial support and gift-in-kind contributions from donors, and committed volunteers and staff, the dream of homeownership has come true for Richard and Maddie.
“We can’t thank you enough. We’ll never forget this,” said a joyful, tearful Richard at hearing the news. “This is the beginning for us. It means not worrying about where we’ll be in the next two or three years. I can support Maddie and our baby and feel confident about putting a roof over their heads. It’s a new start for our family.”
The couple tried to put into words what their future looks like as Habitat homeowners. “We’ll have a backyard where Paisley can play. We can put in a nice little garden where we can grow vegetables. We’d spend the next forty years here. We’re going to enjoy making this a home.”
To date, Habitat OGN has served 59 families since 2002, including approximately 124 children. The completion of the next energy-efficient, semi-detached affordable homes is scheduled for occupancy in Bala, Ontario, by June.
“Our homes are offered equitably and are suitable to a diverse population: young families; seniors; mobility challenged; singles and couples,” adds Woodcock. “Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home.”
About Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North
Amalgamated in 2014, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is a not-for-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers and Habitat partner families, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in our service area, in Canada, and around the world. Our region serves communities across central and northern Ontario, including Orillia, Midland, Muskoka, Parry Sound, North Bay, and Sudbury. Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which was established in 1985 and has grown to become a leading global not-for-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.habitatgatewaynorth.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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Communication and Events Coordinator
Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North