Habitat for Humanity Prepares for their Largest Build to Date

 

Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk is preparing to begin a 19-million dollar build this spring in Brantford. This will be their largest project in the  organization’s 20 year history in the area.  The plan includes construction of 56 townhouse units in 7 buildings on property acquired at 200 Brantwood Park Road. 24 of those units will be owned by families who qualify under Habitat’s program.

“We have land. It’s one of the biggest challenges we usually have. We can’t build without land. This is a hectare of land that was sold to us by the Hamilton Diocese under favourable terms and specifically fits into the medium density build. The medium density build qualification is already there which fits the project into the city’s official plan. The beauty of the project is that it provides us the opportunity to accelerate our build and the opportunity to put more families in more homes.”

Lynda Henricksen, Director of Fund Development and Communications

 

Since its conception in 1999, the organization has completed 22 complete home builds and served two families through their buy-back program.  The first phase, of the three phase project, will include building 16 units,  half of those for Habitat home qualifiers. The remaining two phases are expected to see completion in 2023.

“Right now, Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk owns the land but we are all about partnership. Our actual model is often referred to as ‘partner housing’. So our intention is to partner with a builder able to assist us. We have other partnerships as well. In addition to our professional build services director and that team that will lead the build, we have a partnership with community volunteers, with local businesses and our habitat families.”

Lynda Henricksen, Director of Fund Development and Communications

 

All units are to be sold at market value, regardless of the buyer, however the model is different for the mortgage for our those who quality as Habitat home owners. Three criteria are used in qualifying for Habitat homes, which include fulfilling 500 volunteer hours with the organization, a willingness to partner with the program and be in a core housing need as defined by the government.

The site of Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk’s planned 56 unit build at 200 Brantwood Park Road. The build is slated to begin in the spring of 2020.

Henricksen says, by being able to sell units to private owners through open market, it will help defray the cost, but not all of it. She adds, they are  optimistic they will be able to cover the remainder through grants, the national housing strategy and the co-investment fund, and possibly CMHC funding. Profit from the non Habitat buyers is expected to generate 13-million dollars.

“The only way we can do this is through partnership. Our door is wide open for partnership. We maintain that essence of the partner housing which is the foundation of what Habitat was built on. We want to continue to engage with the community. We want to continue to partner with the community in building something great.”

Lynda Henricksen, Director of Fund Development and Communications

 

In addition to this large endeavor, Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk will also continue to build single family homes in the area over next few years as well and already have some of those projects on the horizon.

Henricksen adds, there is a large wait list for Habitat homes. Currently there are over 240 ‘expressions of interest’ for their affordable home ownership program. There are nine families now approved and waiting for those builds to be complete and another eight families in the process of completing applications.