Habitat for Humanity Canada national award winners announced

Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Habitat Canada celebrated the achievements of eight local Habitats during its national conference this week. Habitats were recognized for 2021 accomplishments such as a Tiny Homes Indigenous housing collaboration, as well as partnerships to fabricate 3D printed homes, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in builds by 100%. In addition, Habitat for Humanity North Vancouver Island build consultant and volunteer Peter Sanderson received the prestigious Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership Award.

“Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s awards,” said Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “These awards showcase the exceptional work of local Habitats across Canada that help fulfill our mission by providing families in need of housing with a decent and affordable place to call home.”

Here are this year’s award winners:

‘One Habitat’ award: Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce, which partnered with two local First Nations communities – the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation – completing 21 homes on First Nations Territory. Through these partnerships and other collaborations such as the Tiny Homes project with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin, Habitat Grey Bruce demonstrates a strong commitment to a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.

Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership award: Peter Sanderson. An outstanding professional, mentor, teacher and exceptional leader, Peter embodies and exemplifies Habitat’s mission. Peter first began volunteering with Habitat in Manitoba in the early 1990s, relocating to the west coast in the early 2000s. Peter is a former Habitat Vancouver Island North’s board member, former volunteer build manager, former staff project manager, current build consultant and a three-decade build volunteer.

Community Outreach winners:

Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region, for completion of its years-long build project in 2021 with the Anglican Diocese of Ontario, the first partnership of its kind for the Anglican Church of Canada, to demolish an aging church and construct a community centre in exchange for six Habitat homes on the retained parcel of land. Based on the success of this project, the City of Kingston is offering land to Habitat Kingston for a phased development of up to 65 homes as part of an overall rejuvenation project in an area of need.

Habitat for Humanity Edmonton developed a Community Advisory Council with members including Habitat homeowners and members of the community to better engage and build stronger relationships with the community. The council provides high-level recommendations to Habitat Edmonton’s Board of Directors in the areas of affordable housing, industry and innovation, and critical issues affecting Habitat’s communities.

Environmental and Sustainability winners:

Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area’s home builds demonstrate environmental responsibility by using over 40% less energy in comparison to conventional homes, resulting in efficiency rebates to help off-set the cost of efficient building practices, and lower utility costs for families.

Habitat for Humanity Manitoba achieved its province’s Hydro Power Smart Gold level, built 32 homes that are certified as either LEED Platinum or LEED Gold and built five NET ZERO homes which are up to 80% more energy efficient than a home built to conventional standards. These homes, once built, are also carbon free, reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by 100%.

Expanded Impact winners:

Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce significantly increased its impact by building 300% more in 2021. Habitat Grey Bruce built eight homes in partnership with Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario successfully merged with another Habitat, expanding into two new counties and serving hundreds more individuals. At the same time, it expanded its service programming through its renovation and skills development training program and created e-learning modules for volunteers to increase volunteer engagement.  

Family Partnership winner: Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North knows how important partnership with Habitat homeowners is. To ensure better engagement and outcomes for families, it implemented improved processes in 2021, to continue to develop and maintain successful relationships and positive collaboration with Habitat homeowners at every stage of their journey. This included revamping the homeownership education course with the help of current homeowners and implementing a “3-months until move-in” plan to help reduce stress.

Innovation winner: Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex is creating impact by partnering with the University of Windsor and other industry partners to fabricate Canada’s very first 3D printed residential homes in Leamington, Ontario. The use of this technology is expected to reduce financial and labour costs, project timelines, and material waste once perfected.

Volunteer Outreach winner: At the heart of all we do are volunteers. Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex pivoted during the pandemic to develop a robust virtual volunteer program to ensure volunteer participation in all program streams, while protecting the health and safety of volunteers and the community. Through this program, training, advocacy and awareness opportunities have skyrocketed, virtual volunteers have become regular donors to its build program, and Habitat Windsor-Essex is now accessible to all community members who wish to volunteer regardless of any physical limitations.

For a full description of each award and award winner, please visit habitat.ca/national-awards.

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About Habitat for Humanity Canada

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 49 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.


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