Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (HFHOGN) has announced the selection of its newest homeowner in Gravenhurst, Ontario. This affordable home previously belonged to another Habitat Partner Family who has since graduated from the HFHOGN program.
Stephanie, a dedicated mother, and her four children – Anthony (19), Austin and Aaron (twins, 17), and Alexis (11) – have been living in less-than-ideal conditions, sharing the unfinished basement of her mother’s house. With Stephanie’s aunt and grandmother also occupying the home, they were experiencing severe overcrowding.
“My mother, my aunt, and my grandmother live upstairs,” shares Stephanie. “The only space for the five of us was in the unfinished basement, and it’s only half a basement because the other half is a crawlspace.”
When speaking about the implications of their living situation, Stephanie explains, “We all share one open space with a bathroom. I’ve been sharing a bed with my daughter for three years. My oldest son had to make a makeshift wall using old cabinets and shelves so he could have some privacy and be able to sleep before going to work in the mornings.”
“We share one single light,” Stephanie says, highlighting the urgent need for stable and adequate housing for this family.
The previous family’s dedication to developing stability and self-reliance through the Habitat for Humanity program allowed them to build enough equity during their time in affordable housing to purchase a business in another community. Their success showcases an inspiring cycle of empowerment and self- sufficiency.
“The unique opportunity to repurchase two previously built Habitat homes will allow us to serve two additional families in a short amount of time,” says HFHOGN CEO Kimberley Woodcock. “These affordable homes became available to us because the original partner families were both able to leverage the stability and equity of their Habitat homes to move through the housing continuum and into the market rental and homeownership position.”
Occupation of the second repurchased home in Bracebridge is scheduled for late 2023.