A recent spike in volunteers willing to build more Habitat for Humanity houses in Ottawa and Gatineau is being held up by a lack of land to construct them on.
Since January this year, 1,740 new volunteers have joined the organization’s already huge bank of about 2,000 volunteers, said Kimberlie Montagner, a spokeswoman for Habitat National Capital Region. But while volunteers are plentiful, the organization needs land to build on.
“The community is very generous,” she said, “but land is our major obstacle. The more people that give us land, the more houses we can build with it.”
Habitat here is currently building two houses in Stittsville and has previously built 29 houses in Ottawa and Gatineau, housing 52 adults and 88 children.
Habitat had hoped to build another home in Gatineau this year as well as an additional single-family home in Ottawa, but was unable due to the land shortage.
Still, the organization is confident they’ll find roles for all their volunteers. “Because we have so many people getting involved this year, we’re working to find new and exciting ways for them to help out,” said Montagner.
“The more people we have out there looking, the more chances we have.”
Habitat NCR is also looking to open a second ReStore location, creating more opportunities.
“People are so generous,” said Montagner. “They want to give more and more and look for ways to stay involved after the build is finished. They see the family move into the home. It really touches people.”
Through volunteer labour and donations, Habitat for Humanity builds houses with the help of the new homeowners.
Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with interest-free mortgages set at an affordable percentage of their gross household income.