Habitat for Humanity

About: Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador is dedicated to helping lower-income families attain the dream of home ownership
Available At: Head office - 6 Robin Hood Bay Rd, St. John’s
Tel: (709) 753-5743
Email: contact@habitatnl.ca

Habitat for Humanity envisions a world where everyone has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live. The organization started in the US in 1976, and in 1994 a group of volunteers, spearheaded by Shannie Duff, saw the need and got to work in St. John’s. Since then, Habitat NL has partnered with more than 50 families in St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Labrador City, Paradise, St. Anthony, Clarenville, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and there are new projects coming on in Corner Brook and Conception Bay South.

Habitat homes are built or renovated by the community. Under the direction of the Build Manager and with support from skilled trades, volunteers do construction. Funding comes through government partnerships, corporate sponsors, the ReStore (Habitat’s social enterprise), local businesses, fundraisers, and other donors.

Families are selected after a comprehensive application process, and they purchase their homes at fair market value (no free houses!). Habitat makes home ownership affordable through its sweat equity down payment program – families contribute 500 hours of work rather than a cash down payment. The cash down payment is the biggest barrier for many families, and sometimes the mortgage payments are less than the family paid in rent. The other big benefit is that the mortgage is interest-free, and after five years the family starts gaining equity in the home.

Habitat partner families say that home ownership is life-changing, and has a positive impact on health, education, work-life and financial stability.

Current projects are underway or coming soon in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador West, Corner Brook, CBS and St. John’s. What’s next? Habitat NL is looking for communities to partner with in other regions. Executive Director Sandra Whiffen says, “We plan to grow and reach even more communities and families!”