Habitat NS dedicated its second new home on Upper Governor Street today in East Preston, fulfilling the long-held dream of a mother and her two young daughters. The Honourable Keith Colwell, Minister of Housing and MLA for Preston-Dartmouth, presented the Williams family of three with their key on behalf of Title Home Sponsor Housing Nova Scotia.
“We are pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity on this project and support more families to own their own home,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. “Through this partnership, we can continue to promote affordable homeownership and build healthy and vibrant communities across Nova Scotia.”
“Yvette and her girls have been waiting a long time for this day. She was selected in September 2014, at the same time as our first East Preston Partner Family was chosen. She watched Tiffany Brooks and her children move into their home back in December 2014 and witnessed first-hand what becoming a partner family could mean,” said Marie-France LeBlanc, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia. “She’s been a dedicated volunteer at our ReStore and administrative offices and spent as much time as possible swinging a hammer at her own home once construction had begun. We’re so excited to see her realize this dream.”
Families of Habitat for Humanity homes are selected on the basis of need, their ability to repay a no-down-payment, no-interest mortgage, and their commitment to volunteer 500 hours of sweat equity toward their home and community.
“I am so pleased to see the Williams family receive a key to their new home today. Safe affordable housing is so important for the prosperity of our communities. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and many volunteers, have given this family a new start and the opportunity to stay in their community, while allowing them to give back at the same time, what a great success story,‘’ said Darrell Samson, MP, Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook.
Yvette Williams is a single mother of two daughters, Trinite (8) and Tiara (3), who works full-time and dedicates many hours to fulfilling her sweat equity commitment. “It’s completely surreal that this day is finally here,” said Yvette Williams, who is looking most toward preparing a home-cooked meal for herself and her children. “What will stick with me forever from this experience is the support I’ve received from volunteers; working with them on my home was so much fun and filled me with a sense of fellowship and encouragement.”
At Habitat for Humanity, we know that homeownership makes a real difference in the lives of our partner families. They are healthier. Their children are more apt to play sports and obtain a post-secondary degree. They experience more stable employment, with stronger income. And they are more likely to volunteer, donate to charity and vote at election time. According to a 2015 Boston Consulting Group study for Habitat for Humanity Canada, every dollar invested in the Habitat homeownership program initiates four dollars of benefit to society. The study Transforming Lives: The Social Return on Habitat’s Work in Canada also found that the Habitat homeownership program generates $175,000 in total benefits per partner family, which represents almost $1.6 million for the nine partner families that Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia worked with in 2015-16.