• 2021-08-13

From house to home

Partnership helps create welcoming spaces for Habitat for Humanity families

You know that can of azure blue paint on your basement shelf? The one that has been sitting there for the past six years, even though your living room is now sunshine yellow? Well, that azure blue could be recycled into a pearly grey and used to brighten the walls of a brand new Habitat for Humanity home.

“When a Habitat family chooses the paint colours for their new home, it’s definitely one of the more exciting stages of the building process,” said Perry Kendall, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area. “Paint colours are one of the first ways that a family turns their new house into a home.”

Recycle NB, along with our friends at Laurentide Paint, happily donate recycled paint (the brand name is Boomerang) for the homes constructed by Habitat For Humanity Fredericton Area. The families are able to choose from a wide variety of colours, which are mixed together from paints collected through the provincial recycling program, operated by Product Care Recycling on behalf of the industry.

“We are extremely proud to be involved with such a great cause,” said Frank LeBlanc, our CEO. “All paint collected in New Brunswick is recycled at the Laurentide Paint facility in Richibucto. With more than 60 collection sites across the province, it is easy to recycle leftover paint products and containers.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit charitable organization that partners with lower-income families to provide them with the opportunity to own their own homes. As part of the program, families make payments to Habitat for Humanity directly until the mortgage is paid in full. Payments are set at approximately 25% of the family’s income.

“There is no down payment or interest accrued for 15 years,” explained April Veno-Munn, Operations Manager at Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area. “It makes the home much more affordable and much more attainable.”

In return, families are asked to volunteer a minimum of 500 hours towards the building of their homes. Alternatively, they can also volunteer at local churches, schools or for other non-profit organizations.

“Habitat families will also help other families in homebuilding projects,” Ms. Munn said. “In 2018, we built a home for a single mom with kids. Once it was finished, she went on to volunteer on other Habitat for Humanity homes.”

Families are not the only ones to volunteer on the projects. Many local service groups and community organizations also lend a hand. Students from the carpentry program at CCNB in Edmundston, for example, have helped build five homes in that region. In Oromocto, students from Oromocto High School have helped in the construction of homes, as have military personnel from CFB Gagetown.

“It really gives families a sense of pride to see volunteers come out and help build their homes,” Mr. Kendall said. “It makes them feel like they are part of the community.”

Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area covers a large territory, from Fredericton as far north as Edmundston. It not only builds new homes, it also renovates vacant homes through the Surplus Federal Real Property Housing Initiative.

“This allows us to get families into homes that much quicker,” Ms. Munn said. “Our top year was 2017, when we housed eight families.”

Habitat for Humanity homes are funded through monetary donations, as well as those in the form of new materials and labour. Funding also comes through profits from the Habitat ReStore, which sells used or donated furniture, fixtures and construction materials. Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area has built a total of 42 homes since 2000. Currently, two homes are under construction – one on Jewett Street in Fredericton and the second on Doherty Drive in Oromocto. It expects to house seven families this year alone.

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