OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 11, 2013) - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is helping an Aboriginal family realize their dream of homeownership today through the sponsorship of a Habitat for Humanity Build Day. CMHC staff volunteers are rolling up their sleeves and joining Habitat for Humanity-National Capital Region (NCR) on site to take part in the construction of a local Habitat home.

The home is Ottawa's first urban Aboriginal build and is part of Habitat for Humanity Canada's Aboriginal Housing Program. Launched in 2007, with the support of CMHC, the program seeks to improve understanding of how the Habitat homeownership model can better serve Canada's Aboriginal families in need of housing. The program has led to the construction of 15 to 20 safe, decent and affordable homes annually for First Nations people.

"The Government of Canada, through CMHC, is dedicated to working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Canada and its affiliates to help address the challenges many families face in finding safe and affordable homes in Ottawa and across Canada," said Douglas Stewart, Interim President at CMHC. "It's very fulfilling for CMHC employees to not only be giving back to the community, but also to see a program they helped create delivered successfully."

"We are pleased to be building with CMHC today as we empower and encourage the involvement of Aboriginal families in Habitat for Humanity programs and help them become homeowners," said Donna Hicks, CEO, Habitat NCR. "Part of our mandate is to help urban Aboriginal families purchase their homes with an interest-free, long-term mortgage through our Homeownership Program."

Once complete, the house will be home to Ida Kakekagumick and her three grandchildren for whom she has legal custody. As part of the Habitat program, the family must complete 500 hours of volunteer work or "sweat equity" before moving into their home. The children's straight A's in school have earned them 50 hours, while Ida, an Oujibwa-Cree, has been volunteering her time at the Habitat ReStore.

"I am so grateful and happy for this chance because I want my grandchildren to know how it feels to finally have a place that they can call their own," said Ida. "I don't want them to feel displaced by having to move from place to place anymore."

Founded in 1993, Habitat for Humanity NCR is a volunteer, non-profit organization that builds simple, decent, affordable homes and sells them with long-term, interest-free mortgages to hard-working, low-income families seeking an affordable home in which to raise their children. Since 1993, Habitat NCR has built 40 homes, renovated eight and housed more than 50 families.

CMHC is a Habitat for Humanity Canada Platinum Partner and the founding national partner of its Aboriginal Housing Program. CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 65 years and is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, environmentally sustainable, affordable housing solutions, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

Contact Information:

Charles Sauriol
Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Kristin Harold
Communications Manager
Habitat for Humanity NCR
613-749-9950 ext. 224
Cell: 613-794-7704