Habitat for Humanity to build on vacant lots in north-end subdivision

Habitat for Humanity will begin construction on four vacant lots in the Towerhill Rd. subdivision that the province donated to the city, officials announced Friday.

Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal, Mayor Paul Ayotte and Habitat for Humanity Peterborough district chairman Rev. Steve Smith made the announcement in the council chambers at City Hall.

Fleming College sustainable building students will build one of the houses and the local firefighters association has volunteered to build a house on one of the lots, a Habitat for Humanity official said.

Construction could start on one of the houses in the spring with the assistance of the family that will move into the new home, Smith said.

"The sweat equity is a major part of how we put people into homes. It's a hand up, not a handout," he said.

Ontario Realty Corp., the Crown corporation that manages Ontario's real estate assets, estimates the value of the land is $228,000.

The province has donated the land to the city, which will work with Habitat for Humanity to provide affordable housing, Leal said.

"In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the city will ensure that more of Peterborough families have the opportunity to enter into home ownership," he said.

"The City of Peterborough is more than just an advocate for affordable housing, the city is one of the most active builders and providers of affordable housing on a per-capita basis across this great province.

"This is a community who cares."

It's a challenge to provide land at a reasonable cost to housing organizations throughout the community, Ayotte said, praising Leal for working to get Ontario Realty Corp. to donate the property.

"I think Habitat for Humanity is really special because the people don't get the housing just because they need it, they get it because they work for it as well and when it's finished some of their sweat is in there as well and their hard work so it means a lot more to them," Ayotte said.

NOTE: Ontario put aside $622 million for housing initiatives this year, Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal states in a release

SOURCE: BRENDAN WEDLEY/Examiner Municipal Writer

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