nb-habitat-humanity-fredericton

Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area Inc. hopes to expand into communities, such as Campbellton, Tracadie-Sheila and Bathurst. (CBC)

Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area Inc. is hoping to expand its operations into northeast New Brunswick.

Mike Ross, executive director of the non-profit organization that builds homes for people in need, says there are families in communities such as Campbellton, Tracadie-Sheila and Bathurst who need better housing.

"One just needs to drive around this province, in rural New Brunswick, and it's not hard to tell that people are living in seriously sub-standard housing," said Ross.

"The problem for those individuals or families is they're caught between a rock and a hard place. They're working, but they have no financial flexibility to jump out of that situation into a significantly better one," he said.

"And that's the role that Habitat plays. We want to find those families, partner with those families and do what we can to give them a hand up."

Doug Stairs remembers when his blended family of eight was cramped in a three-bedroom apartment. Life was tough, but they couldn't afford to move.

"We had to feed our children in shifts. And sometimes the kids would sit on the step or outside the kitchen door just so we could talk a little bit for a meal," he said.

Now Stairs is a proud owner of a Habitat for Humanity home in Gagetown.

"We have a beautiful, beautiful house here," he said. "Every child here has their own bedroom and they're decent-sized bedrooms. We have two bathrooms and a beautiful dining room."

Ross says his group has put in a formal application to Habitat for Humanity's head office for approval for the northeast expansion.