New Habitat for Humanity Development Announced for Oxford, Nova Scotia Oxford Community Supports Affordable Homeownership
Oxford, NS / Sept. 30, 2015 – Today Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia marked the official start of a brand new 10- home affordable housing development located on a parcel of land at the corner of Lower Main Street and Little River Road in Oxford, Nova Scotia. With the generous support of Oxford Frozen Foods, the Town of Oxford, Housing Nova Scotia and CORCAN, the rehabilitation program of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Community Steering Committee will be working closely with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia to complete the first of these single-family homes by the end of 2015.
“Servicing of the lots and construction of the first home will begin immediately,” said Jordan Burkhardt, on behalf of the Community Steering Committee. “We’re impressed with the Habitat for Humanity model, which provides families with a hand up, not a hand out. Our biggest focus over the next few weeks will be to encourage eligible families to apply to be our first homeowner.”
Families for 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. Information sessions for potential families are planned for Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 at 5:30 pm at the Lion’s Hall in Oxford and further information is available online at habitatns.ca/oxford-project.
“We’re so excited to be building in Oxford and we’re overwhelmed by the amount of enthusiasm and support we’ve received from the community already,” said Marie-France LeBlanc, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia. “We’ll be using a construction model that’s proven successful in other Canadian jurisdictions, especially in smaller communities where availability of large numbers of repeat volunteers can be limited. CORCAN is a key rehabilitation program of the CSC that provides employment training and work skills to federal offenders.”
Community volunteers will be needed to help complete finish work on the home, including painting and landscaping, as construction progresses. Based on the interest level in the first home, the Steering Committee will consider adding in opportunities for volunteer and corporate/organizational build days on subsequent homes.
The Town of Oxford has not only donated the parcel of land for development but will be servicing the lots to ready them for construction. “The Town of Oxford is extremely excited and proud to be part of such a unique Habitat for Humanity project here in Nova Scotia. This will establish our Town as a champion and a leader in the supply of affordable homeownership opportunities. It is my belief that it will foster economic and social development in our region and will benefit our entire community, “said Patricia Stewart, Mayor of Oxford.
In addition, both Housing Nova Scotia and Oxford Frozen Foods have committed to provide funding for each of the homes built in this new affordable housing development. “Few things are as important as ensuring Nova Scotia Families have access to safe, affordable homes,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia.“Habitat for Humanity is a great example of bringing partners together to create affordable housing and we’re pleased to support their effort to help an Oxford family have a new place to call home.”
“Oxford Frozen Foods is committed to the long term success of the Oxford community – it is where many of our employees and their families live and work,” said David Hoffman, co-CEO, Oxford Frozen Foods. “Affordable housing allows families to live in our rural community and enjoy an excellent quality of life. We have already introduced a unique and innovative housing program for our employees, and we applaud Habitat for Humanity and the Community Steering Committee for bringing this very worthwhile program to the broader Oxford community. We are delighted to support it.”
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 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 recent Boston Consulting Group study for Habitat for Humanity Canada, every dollar invested in the Habitat homeownership program initiates four dollars of benefit to society. As well as the health and environmental benefits, Transforming Lives: The Social Return on Habitat’s Work in Canada found that the Habitat homeownership program generates $175,000 in total benefits per partner family, which represents $1.6 million for the nine partner families that Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia will work with in 2015.
About Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia
Its provincial roots established in 1992, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization working towards a Nova Scotia where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. To date we have built 45 homes throughout the province to help low income working families achieve the goal of successful homeownership. An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, the organization forms part of the more than 63,000 volunteers every year and 55 affiliate organizations from coast to coast whose mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada. For more information, please visit http://habitatns.ca