Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area is currently accepting applications for its yet-to-be completed duplex at 687 McAllen Street in the city’s west side.
It’s anticipated that the duplex will be completed in early 2019.
“It does take a little longer than a regular home going up, obviously we have volunteers,” said Joseph Mackenzie, acting executive director. “It is going along extremely quick this time around.”
Habitat for Humanity has been partnering with low-income families to build homes in Sault Ste. Marie since 2002.
Currently, there are a total of nine Habitat for Humanity homes in the city.
The first one in the Sault was completed in 2004.
The following criteria, taken from the local Habitat for Humanity website, outlines the following criteria that needs to be met in order to be considered for a home:
Level of Need:
Families income must be below the government-set Low Income Cut-Off guidelines.
Ability to pay a Habitat Mortgage:
Family must have a stable income sufficient to cover mortgage payments as well as other costs associated with home ownership.
Willing to Partner with Habitat:
Families must contribute 500 hours of volunteer labour, or "sweat equity" in building their home.
In addition to that criteria, people wishing to apply must have lived in Canada for three years, and have been living in Sault Ste. Marie for the past two years.
Habitat for Humanity office and volunteer administrator Pauline Pennett says that there are a number of ways in which their homes benefit low-income families who are looking to acquire their own home.
“There’s been lots of studies and statistics where health increases, the children do better in school, there’s self-esteem, there’s less drain on the social services in the community,” Pennett said.
Habitat for Humanity relies heavily on the work of volunteers to help put the houses up.
The local chapter has partnered with Ontario Works, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and a construction program at Sault College.
MacKenzie says that work on the duplex at 687 McAllen Street is being completed quickly.
“Definitely excited,” Mackenzie said. “It’s nice to drive by and just take a look at each stage, because it’s going so quickly.”
“It’s not just sitting there, not moving. It’s exciting, for sure.”
“I think it’s exciting, and it gives us a sense pride as well, that we’re being able to help two more families,” Pennett said.
The deadline to submit a home ownership application is September 14.
People looking for more information on the application process are encouraged to go online or contact Pauline at (705) 941-9646, extension 224.