Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s build in the Legislature. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.
This year Vancouver Island North Habitat for Humanity is celebrating 14 years of building affordable homes for low-income families. Families become partners, gaining interest-free loans by donating their sweat equity and working alongside community volunteers to build a place where they can grow strong and achieve stability and independence.
To date, Habitat has built 12 homes in the Comox Valley and eight in Campbell River, for a total of 20 homes. They’ve served 22 families, with two families selling their homes back to Habitat after their incomes grew beyond the qualifications for the interest-free loan. Their financial successes then opened the door to give two other families a chance to also prove that housing security does make a difference.
Today Habitat is igniting the community with their ambitious growth plans for the future. Their intention is to build 19 more new homes on the north Island over the next three years. That’s as many homes as they’ve built in the last 14.
Habitat North Island’s Women Build has set up a community challenge this spring in the Comox Valley, seeking 100 women to raise $1,000 each over 100 days to raise $100,000. They’ve launched this ambitious program in partnership with the Comox Valley Women’s Business Network. But please know that Women Build is not just about fundraising.
Terri Perrin, Habitat North Island community engagement manager, is quick to point out that Women Build is not about excluding anyone but, rather, involving and empowering women to volunteer on the construction site in an industry that has been historically dominated by men. She also encourages men to join in the fun, both fundraising and volunteering on site.
The Women Build 2018 motto captures it best: “They’re proud to participate, because every woman has the power to build community.”