Habitat NCR celebrates 20th anniversary

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            Non-profit builder to accelerate home-creating initiatives with additional resources, voluntary support

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region (NCR) celebrated its 20th anniversary and recognized volunteer and community support at its annual general meeting on June 10.

Habitat NCR president Johannes Zeibarth said, since he started volunteering with the organization shortly after it was established in Ottawa in 1993, he has seen 40 houses built “and its been an incredible pleasure to see so many lives changed.”

The NCR affiliate, one of 67 in Canada and hundreds internationally, provided affordable homes for three additional families last year, and completed an extensive retrofit for a family who lost their 140-year-old Kemptville farmhouse from a fire.

More importantly, Habitat NCR CEO Donna Hicks says additional resources, donations and reinvested capital will allow the organization to accelerate its affordable home program in upcoming years.

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“We are building our first phase of homes on Nantes Sttreet”(in Orleans) including the first urban aboriginal build, she said.  An initiative to provide renovation support, the Home ReNew program, has started.  And Habitat NCR is preparing to build its first home on an aboriginal reserve in the Barry’s Bay area, she said.

Kevin Marshman, Habitat for Humanity Canada’s new president and CEO, says Canada-wide the program has provided “more than 2,200 families a good roof over their heads.”

“We are a banker, retailer, training centre, fund raiser, and more.”

Habitat for Humanity home owners are expected to provide voluntary labour and to repay their mortgage.  In return, they live in safe, clean and comfortable homes instead of slum-type accommodations. The result: The families break out of the poverty trap, as the families thrive and children do well in school and achieve life success.

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Habitat NCR raises its money from donations, corporate sponsorships, the two local ReStore recycling locations and special events including Steeltoes and Stilettos gala, scheduled this year for Oct. 26 a the Westin Ottawa.

Volunteers recognized for their construction work (The Golden Hammer) in 2012-13 included Kyle Fazekas, Patick Sarsfield and David Stitt.

Legacy Builder Award winners, recognizing personal and corporate contributions, included:  Phil Sheen, George Hendry, Gord Lorimer, Tom Alfoldi, Terry Deringer, Euro Tile & Stone, Home Depot, and Swift Delivery service.

The 2013 executive is Johannes Zeibarth, president; Melissa Clark, past-president; Ken Merkley, vice-president, John Ebsary, treasurer, and Barry Burke, secretary.

Board members include:  Raman Agarwal, Roberto Campagna, Gord Erskine, George Hendry,  Beth Maiden, Tracey McDonald, Don Peterman, Magda Sydengart and Nicole Vallee.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity NCR visit www.habitatncr.com

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