ONTARIO ABORIGINAL HOUSING SERVICES
Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) is pleased to announce a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area (HFHSSMA) to assist a local indigenous family achieve homeownership.
For future Habitat and OAHS Homeowner Danielle Moore, this opportunity will provide her family with a sense of stability; a sense of belonging and place to call home. Danielle notes, “The first thing we will do is hang a sign that say, ‘Beindigain’ which means ‘come in’ in Ojibwe.” As a single mother, Danielle is looking forward to a safe and decent place to call home. “Home means a place to love, and be loved. Home is refuge, home is a happy place, and it is family. It’s memories, security – it’s the foundation of life. It’s somewhere our feet may leave, but not our hearts,” Danielle says.
This is the first time OAHS is partnering with HFHSSMA, however this collaboration is not uncommon across Ontario with builds in Northumberland, Ottawa and Peterborough. OAHS provides safe and affordable housing to urban and rural indigenous people living off-Reserve in Ontario. OAHS serves 10,100 people every single day and has assisted with over 1,300 people in becoming homeowners in Ontario.
“OAHS is pleased to be a part of Danielle Moore and her family’s journey in finding safe and affordable housing. A home isn’t just a physical structure; it’s security, it’s financial flexibility to afford life’s necessities, and it’s a place of well-being. Assisting community members like Danielle in finding a home is important to us and we look forward to continuous partnerships with Habitat Sault Ste. Marie and Area,” commented Justin Marchand, Executive Director of OAHS.
HFHSSMA does not give away houses. Houses are sold to future homeowners at market value, with special conditions including interest free, geared to income payments. These mortgage payments help HFHSSMA to further its impact within the community by building more homes. “The beauty of this program is that I am able to build equity for the future and it’s going to be a huge stepping stone for us. We will learn how to be homeowners, maintain our home and property which will give us all great pride,” says Danielle. OAHS’s Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative will be providing Danielle with $30,000 to go towards the principle of her mortgage with HFHSSMA.
Claudette McFarling, Chair of the Family Services Committee states, “Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area believes in the worth and dignity of every human being and their right to safe, decent affordable housing. We want to serve all members of the community. This means serving people who are sometimes left out of discussions or who face particular challenges associated with housing needs.”
This unique partnership between OAHS and HFHSSMA is integral to providing safe and affordable housing for local deserving families. “HFHSSMA looks forward to collaborating with OAHS to serve Danielle Moore and her family. We hope this will be the first of many indigenous families served in Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding communities,” reports Katie Blunt, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area.