Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Sept. 12, 2014 - Georgian College and Habitat for Humanity are partnering to develop skills and build homes. Students in the Carpentry Techniques program at Georgian College’s Muskoka Campus will go beyond the classroom this semester to help on a Habitat for Humanity build site in Gravenhurst.


Students, as well as several faculty members, will work on the build site two days a week putting their learning to use.
“The hands-on experience students will gain on this build will complement campus learning and boost students’ confidence in their skills,” says Muskoka Campus Manager Bonnie DeWitt. “Georgian is committed to being a catalyst for change, so we’re delighted to do our part to help two local families gain a home.

Building community partnerships and working in the community is important to Habitat for Humanity and Georgian College.
“Our vision is a world where everyone has a safe, decent place to live and this partnership with Georgian College is a step to building more homes, more efficiently,” says Ellen Frood, Chief Executive Officer for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. “Students receive real life experience on the site and two partner families will receive homes when the build is complete.”

These will be the 19th and 20th Habitat homes built in Muskoka. The homes are not given away but thanks to a unique arrangement with Habitat and its partners, they are sold to the families at fair market value with an interest free mortgage. What makes Habitat’s homes affordable is that the total payments including mortgage and taxes, is 25% of the homeowner’s total income.
The families will contribute 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ into their home which is one of the key criteria for participation.

About Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North
Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is a non-profit organization working to break the cycle of poverty by promoting affordable housing and homeownership, through the mobilization of volunteers and community partners. We work with people from all walks of life as we build simple, decent and affordable homes through volunteer labour, efficient management and donations of money and materials. On September 1, 2014 the Habitat for Humanity affiliates of North Simcoe, Orillia Lake Country, Muskoka, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and the District of Sudbury legally amalgamated into one new affiliate serving a large area of Northern Ontario. Administrative resources are centralized out of the Muskoka office with chapters located in North Simcoe, Orillia, Parry Sound, North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins.

About Georgian College
Georgian’s leadership in co-op, student work experience and entrepreneurship education delivers powerful ways to accelerate learning, career and future opportunities. With more than 125 career-focused programs across seven locations in Central Ontario – Barrie, Midland, Muskoka (Bracebridge), Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound and South Georgian Bay (Collingwood) – Georgian has 11,000 full-time students and 28,000 Continuing Education registrations annually and is home to the one-of-a-kind University Partnership Centre. Georgian has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers seven times and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers five years in a row.

Photo: Students from the Carpentry Techniques program at Georgian College’s Muskoka Campus hard at work at their first day on the Habitat for Humanity build in Gravenhurst.

Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North

Article courtesy of Georgian College and Habitat for Humanity.

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