London

Canada affordable housing organization calls for more London applicants

Habitat for Humanity broke ground on four new homes in London and St. Thomas.

Habitat for Humanity has 10 empty lots in London.

Habitat for Humanity broke ground on four new homes in London and St. Thomas. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Habitat for Humanity has broken ground on four new homes in London and St. Thomas, and wants to do more. But there's a lack of applicants.

The non-profit housing organization provides affordable units across the nation. So far, there have been more than 70 homes built in Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford and Perth counties.

"Believe it or not, we are currently looking for more families, " said Brian Elliot, the organization's CEO in Ontario.

Elliot said many people avoid the application process because they think they'll get rejected. But, there are currently 10 vacant lots in London alone.

"It's not as difficult as you think to get the habitat home," he said.

Heath, 15, Reed, 13, and mother Tina Wilson, will move into their new home by Christmas. Habitat for Humanity broke ground on four new homes in London and St. Thomas. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Families can quality for a home in exchange for 500 volunteer hours with the organization.

Tina Wilson juggled a full-time job with volunteering for two years before she qualified for a home in St. Thomas.

Now, the single mother is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with her two boys in a new semi-detached home.

"Hard work pays off," Wilson said. "This is a place to put our roots and the boys will have a safe and comfortable environment to grow up in."

Her 13-year-old son Reed Wilson watched over his older brother who is living with autism while she was at work.

"I feed him breakfast and lunch while my mom is working," he said, "It's definitely a shared effort among the both of us."

A semi detached home is being built for a hard-working St. Thomas family through Habitat for Humanity. The organization broke ground on four new homes in London and St. Thomas. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The three storey, three bedroom, home, is an upgrade from Wilson's two bedroom apartment.

"It gives me a lot of freedom than it would in the apartment because I find myself in the apartment there's not much to do," said Reed.

Habitat For Humanity London joined a nationwide project to build 150 homes for families in need for Canada's 150 celebrations.

Residents pay 25 per cent of their income until the mortgage is paid off. Elliot said the payouts go back into home building fund.

"Everybody becomes a part of that cycle of affordable home ownership to help break that cycle of poverty," he said.

Interested applicants can apply through: www.habitat.ca

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