Affordable futures for 13 families

Thirteen Brampton families will soon know for the first time what it’s like to have a place they can call their very own.

No more cold, cramped, basement apartments, no more wondering if they’ll ever be able to realize their dreams of owning a home. Thanks to the initiatives of “Habitat for Humanity GTA” and to the many donors, sponsors, and volunteers who step up to help out, the future’s looking bright for all.

On a sunny and warm early-May morning, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place just south of Chris Gibson Rec Centre on McLaughlin Road North.

“We know, from our work at Habitat, that families are healthier, lose less time to sickness and their children see improvements in confidence and do better at school after moving into Habitat homes,” said Habitat for Humanity Board Member Christine Pacini. “Families transform from renters to being independent homeowners and help free up much needed rental units for other families.”

Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey lauded the work of “Women Build,” part of Habitat for Humanity GTA, which focuses on bringing women together to put on hardhats and tool belts to experience the world of the skilled construction trades.

“I’m amazed to hear that Women Build has rallied over 5,000 women to raise more than four million dollars and to build 85 homes,” she said. “That’s 85 families with homes. Congratulations!”

Justin Sherwood, senior Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) communication VP explained how BILD has been partners with Habitat for Humanity since 2003.

“There’s a natural synergy between us (BILD) and Habitat for Humanity,” he said. “We are both in the home building business. We are both concerned about affordability. If you consider what tremendous pressure this whole region (Peel) is going to have over the next 25 years, with 115,000 new residents every year, there’s room for different ways and different approaches to getting to affordability.”

One of the 13 families hoping to move into their new digs sometime around October this year is the Bhuttooah family. Amreet Bhuttooah, father of two young children, and husband, had words of praise for Habitat for Humanity.

“My wife and I emigrated to Canada eight years ago, as landed immigrants from the African island of Mauritius,” he said. “We moved into a small basement apartment and soon became a family of four. With the rising cost of living, trying to save for a down payment to purchase a house was difficult. We were caught in a catch-22; we couldn’t afford a bigger place to live and hope to ever own a home. We applied to Habitat for Humanity and began the process to qualify. My family had the opportunity to put in 500 hours of sweat-equity labour to contribute to the down payment and be able to make affordable mortgage payments. This will mean a lot to my family and will change our lives for the better. I want to thank and convey my heartfelt gratitude to Habitat GTA, to BILD, and to the incredible volunteers who are helping build these homes. Thank you.”

To find out more about Habitat for Humanity, to volunteer, donate useful items, or apply for help with affordable home ownership, click here.

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