Habitat for Humanity Northumberland staff and volunteers, Habitat for Humanity Canada Board Chair Riccardo Trecroce, local dignitaries, and sponsors and supporters gathered on a future build site in Baltimore on Tuesday November 22, 2022 to acknowledge National Housing Day.
Every year for the past five years, Habitat Northumberland has acknowledged this day with the conclusion of the Anniversary Campaign. This year the campaign celebrates the 24th Anniversary of the affiliate. For the 24 days leading up to National Housing Day on November 22nd, sponsors are challenged to raise $24,000. And sponsors did not disappoint. This year the campaign achieved its goal of $24,000 with 15 sponsors, making the five-year total over $110,000.
“This fundraiser doesn’t sound big until you really look at the impact of it year over year. Those funds are going directly towards our build program, and they really make a difference in our ability to build local affordable housing,” explains Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director.
Riccardo Trecroce, Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Canada was on hand to impart greetings from the federation and to highlight a recent survey conducted by Habitat Canada and released just prior to National Housing Day. According to the survey, Canadians rank affordable housing as the third most important issue facing Canada today, behind inflation and healthcare.
The survey measured the perceptions of Canadians, also sheds light on growing concerns and barriers to homeownership including lack of housing supply, increased cost of living, discrimination, NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) sentiment and more. Trecroce said that, “National Housing Day is a day to not only better understand the housing crisis on a large scale, but to also to see where we, as an organization, can help.” Habitat for Humanity, both at the national and local level, is on the frontlines, advocating for safe, decent and affordable places to call home for Canadians across the housing continuum. To learn more about the survey, please visit https://habitat.ca/en/news/housingsurvey.
To build on the National Housing Day theme, Habitat Northumberland unveiled plans to build seven affordable townhouse units on the site where everyone gathered, 4751 Highway 45 in Baltimore, in 2023. Habitat Northumberland acquired the land in the spring of 2022 and has been working on development plans for the last six months. Not only will this be the largest single-development project for Habitat Northumberland, it is also the first time that Habitat Northumberland is planning to pursue a net zero development. By partnering with ZON Engineering, Simple Life Homes, and Community Power Northumberland, Habitat Northumberland is hoping to build the largest Habitat net zero development in Canada!
Photo - L-R David Lester – Habitat Northumberland Board Chair, Meaghan Macdonald – Executive Director, Greg Campbell & Jacqueline Pennington and children, Capitol Campaign Co-Chairs, Riccardo Trecroce - Habitat Canada Board Chair, and Mandy Martin – Deputy Warden, Northumberland County.
“The Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Northumberland has developed a three-year strategic plan for 2023-2025 with an overarching goal to broaden our impact and reach more people by adapting our service model, thereby facilitating housing stability, security, and empowerment across our region. We plan to do this by responding to the affordable housing shortage, by being an effective community partner, and by committing to maintain a strong, resilient, and sustainable organization,” says David Lester, Chair of the Board for Habitat Northumberland. “This dream project is the ideal example of how we hope to put our strategy into action.”
Habitat Northumberland also announced that they are launching a capital campaign, Building Hope for Families, to raise key capital dollars to get this development started. The Pennington/Campbell family, led by Jacqueline Pennington and Greg Campbell, have agreed to chair the capital campaign in the community.
“We are so excited that Jacqueline, Greg, Robert and Elijah have agreed to help us with this campaign,” says Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director. “It is so powerful that a family is coming together to help us build homes, and hope, for other families in our community. The need for affordable housing is overwhelming right now and we are so thankful to have leaders in our community like the Pennington/Campbell family to help us at Habitat try to address some of that need.”
Habitat Northumberland is hoping to break ground on this project in Baltimore in the spring of 2023. For more information and to get updates on the progress, please visit https://www.habitatnorthumberland.ca/4751-hwy-45-baltimore.