Habitat For Humanity Nova Scotia Breaks Ground on Rebuild for Couple Who Lost Their Home in Upper Tantallon Wildfire

Phil and Sue lost their home last May when a wildfire broke out in Upper Tantallon. A partnership between Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, the Canadian Red Cross and United Way Halifax is helping them rebuild.

Dartmouth, NS – On June 27, 2024, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia broke ground on a new home on Hummingbird Lane in Hammonds Plains. The project is a rebuild of a home for Phil Fizzard, 60, and Sue Reid, 63. Phil and Sue are lifelong Nova Scotians who lost their home in the Upper Tantallon wildfire last summer.

The ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of construction on the new home. Phil and Sue were joined by Donna Williamson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia; Ancel Langille, Senior Manager of Emergency Management in Atlantic Canada for the Canadian Red Cross; and Sue LaPierre, Director of Social Impact Strategy at United Way Halifax.

The project marks a milestone for Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia. It is its first collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross and United Way Halifax. It also marks Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s first disaster relief project.

United Way Halifax is contributing to the build through its Wildfire Recovery Appeal. Families without insurance who were impacted by wildfires in HRM and Shelburne and Barrington are still receiving support from remaining dollars in that fund.

The project is estimated to take four to six months. Corporate build days and home sponsorships are available. Individual volunteer opportunities are also available at www.habitatns.ca. Individual donations are welcome.

Phil and Sue’s home was one of 151 destroyed last May in the Upper Tantallon Wildfire. Phil and Sue had lived in their home – a split-level in the Highland Park subdivision – for ten years. An issue with their oil tank had caused their home insurance company to deny coverage, leaving them without any financial recourse after the fire.

Through Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s homeownership program, Phil and Sue will contribute 500 hours of volunteer work, including helping with the construction of their home.

Last June, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia raised $15,700 through its Wildfire Relief Furniture Drive at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Dartmouth. Those funds will be used in the reconstruction of Phil and Sue’s home.


“Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is proud to embark on this project with the Canadian Red Cross, United Way Halifax and other partners. Phil and Sue’s story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of community. We are honoured to support them in rebuilding their home and restoring their sense of security. This project reflects our commitment to helping families achieve strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.” – Donna Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia

“We know from experience that recovery takes time, and this project is just one example of how the Canadian Red Cross remains committed to working with communities and supporting those impacted by emergencies throughout their recovery.” – Bill Lawlor, Vice President, Atlantic Canada, Canadian Red Cross

“Phil and Sue’s story demonstrates how one climate-related event can significantly change the course of people’s lives. We’re grateful for community partners and donors who are helping us ensure that Phil and Sue and others impacted by wildfires are able to have a safe home, in the community where they feel welcomed, and do not experience poverty as a result of the wildfires.” – Sue LaPierre, Director of Social Impact Strategy at United Way Halifax.

Additional Resources:

Photos from the Groundbreaking Ceremony and of Phil and Sue: Google Drive Folder

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s Website: https://habitatns.ca/

How to Support This Build: https://habitatns.ca/whats-new/projects/phil-and-sue/

Media Kit: Google Drive Folder


About Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is a registered non-profit organization that brings communities together to help families in Nova Scotia build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia has partnered with 78 families in Nova Scotia since being founded in 1992.

Habitat’s model of affordable homeownership bridges a gap for people who face barriers to homeownership and would otherwise not have an opportunity to buy a home. Partner families volunteer 500 hours and pay an affordable, no-down-payment mortgage – geared to their income – to buy their home at fair market value. All Habitat homeowners go through an application process to determine their level of housing need, ability to repay an affordable mortgage and willingness to partner with Habitat.

As part of the global Habitat for Humanity network, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is one of 45 affiliates in Canada and part of hundreds of affiliates across more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit habitatns.ca.

About United Way Halifax
United Way Halifax is a local impact organization bridging gaps for people experiencing poverty and marginalization in HRM. Our organization changes lives by providing funding, creating solutions, partnering with others and advocating for change.

For more information:

Caleb Freeman
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia
E: caleb@habitatns.ca
C: 902-225-6315

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