Habitat for Humanity Canada national award winners announced

Eleven local Habitat for Humanity organizations across Canada recognized for their achievements

TORONTO, May 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Habitat Canada celebrated the achievements of eleven local Habitats during its national conference this week. Habitats were recognized for 2022 accomplishments such as the largest multi-unit Habitat build completed in one phase, a wildly successful Stud-A-Thon holiday fundraising campaign, a Handyman Program for seniors, as well as achieving 93% growth in organizational volunteers. In addition, former Habitat board volunteer Greg Stewart and Habitat for Humanity Manitoba’s CEO Sandy Hopkins both received the prestigious Terry Petkau Legacy Award.

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards,” said Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “These awards showcase the exceptional work of local Habitats across Canada that further our mission by providing families in need of housing with a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.”

Here are this year’s award winners:

  • ‘One Habitat’ award: Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa, which welcomed 16 new families to its recent build projects, is working in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Thousand Islands on a 15-unit development of townhomes and stacked town houses in North Grenville, Ontario, and demonstrates its commitment to a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live by continually championing Habitat’s global work.
  • Terry Petkau Legacy award – Outstanding Volunteer: Greg Stewart. A passionate and committed former board member, vice-chair, chair and international build volunteer extraordinaire, Greg has played a transformational role in the efforts of Habitat. Greg’s Habitat journey began in 2006 as a board member for Habitat for Humanity Regina and in 2013 he joined Habitat Canada’s board of directors. Since 2010, Greg has participated in 11 Habitat Canada Global Village builds internationally, recognizing the immense need of housing everywhere.
  • Terry Petkau Legacy award – Outstanding Staff: Sandy Hopkins, CEO, Habitat Manitoba. Sandy’s dedication and perseverance in supporting hundreds of families in securing affordable homeownership is truly inspiring. Sandy joined Habitat Manitoba in 2006, leading it from a small team to an organization with more than 55 employees. During his tenure, Habitat Manitoba has developed the largest Habitat chapter network in Canada, built the largest group of Net Zero homes and largest LEED residential development in the province, broke ground on its largest development in 2021 – to be home to 55 families, and brought the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to Winnipeg.
  • Community Outreach winners:

    • Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia launched its first ever ‘Stud-A-Thon’ holiday fundraising campaign in 2022, engaging members of the community to donate 300 studs – the approximate number of studs needed to build a home – to be used in an upcoming build. Habitat Nova Scotia reached its fundraising goal of $75,000, increased its Facebook and LinkedIn reach by more than 130%, and is working with its province’s realty association to grow the campaign with its members in 2023.
    • In 2022, Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce partnered with the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board at St. Mary’s High School to launch Aspire, a Tiny Home pilot to help fund and construct a Tiny Home for Saugeen First Nation; coordinated a new youth skills training partnership; expanded skills training partnerships with local program Women in Carpentry; hosted 80 volunteer team build corporate events, and developed 41 new team build partnerships.
  • Environment and Sustainability winner: Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver has achieved its province’s Step Code 3 for all new build projects, with its recent 19-unit build attaining impressive results in third-party testing, including lower levels of noise and odour emissions, two of the most difficult areas of sustainability. A leader in deconstruction, Habitat Greater Vancouver has partnered with the City of Vancouver to create the Rebuild Hub, a project salvaging usable materials from construction for resale through its network of Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
  • Expanded Impact winners:

    • Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton’s Handyman Program expanded its reach in providing home repairs to seniors, including those living with lower-incomes, to allow them to remain in their homes for years to come – the only service of its kind in the region. In 2022, Habitat Sarnia-Lambton supported 411 families with repairs, with 50% for families living with low income and an 89% increase in families served.
    • Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region expanded its homeownership eligibility for individuals, couples, and seniors – members of the community in need of affordable housing that had not been eligible for this Habitat’s affordable homeownership program in the past. The first phase of its Leahy’s Lane condo project has 41 homeowners comprising 28 individual, couple or sibling homeowners, including one senior couple. This project is the first multi-unit build of its size completed in one phase by a Canadian Habitat and allowed Habitat Peterborough & Kawartha Region to increase its impact in 2022 by 50% from its first 19 years of operation.
  • Family Partnership winners: Habitat homeowners are our most important partners and ambassadors.

    • Habitats for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region and Northumberland value collaboration by sharing resources, including engaging the same housing partnerships manager to support families in working with both organizations. Both Habitats take a people-centric, individualized approach to building relationships from application right through the entire partnering relationship. They believe in empowering families. They are intentional about showcasing the impact families make on their communities, increasing their strength, stability and self-reliance.
    • Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta has developed processes to establish and maintain successful relationships with families who have become true ambassadors for the Habitat brand. This includes homeowner applications that start with a 10-question eligibility quiz; reviewing partnership hours monthly; homeowner surveys conducted during the first, fifth and tenth years of occupancy; and families in mortgages receiving ongoing support during thrice yearly touchpoints.
  • Innovation winners:

    • Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador opened a satellite drop-off centre and remote online-only Habitat ReStore as a six-month pilot project on Newfoundland’s west coast – eight hours away from its flagship ReStore location. The pilot has increased awareness of Habitat and helped to establish more community partnerships, and its success has led to dialogue about setting up a bricks and mortar Habitat ReStore in the community to replace its online version.
    • Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta recently completed the largest build in its history, a 32-unit stacked townhouse project, which required improvements and innovations in processes to bring the project to life. Habitat Southern Alberta partnered with IKEA to stage a show suite for families to walk through as part of its homeowner recruitment strategy, enhanced fundraising through storytelling to secure multiple million and half-million-dollar donations, and engaged with the community and municipal politicians to garner support and overcome community hesitation for a build geared to families living with low income.
  • Volunteer Outreach winner: At the heart of all we do are volunteers. Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area has developed a variety of approaches to recruit and engage volunteers. It connected with local high-school co-op programs and Humber College along with other community partners to help grow its volunteer base, regularly highlights the amazing contributions of volunteers, nominates volunteers for its Guiding Principle Awards, connects volunteers directly to its mission and offers volunteer feedback loops through surveys – adapting its volunteer approach accordingly. In 2022, Habitat GTA’s volunteer base grew 93% with volunteers donating over 90,000 hours.

For a full description of each award and award winner, please visit https://habitat.ca/en/news/eleven-local-habitats-recognized-for-their-work-as-national-award-winners-announced

About Habitat for Humanity Canada

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 46 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

For more information:

Whitney Rodricks
Senior Manager, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada
E: wrodricks@habitat.ca
C: (416) 475-3487