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Habitat for Humanity is building more than ever before

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Women learn how to build at the Golfdale Habitat for Humanity house on Tuesday. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon

By Candice-Rose Gagnon [2]

BELLEVILLE – Habitat for Humanity [3] is close to finding two families for the two homes being built in Belleville’s east end.

The organization builds the home and then sets up the family with a long-term, no-interest mortgage to cover the costs of the build.

This year, Habitat for Humanity will meet its goal of four homes built. A duplex in Trenton was completed in March and the two Golfdale Road homes in Belleville are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Golfdale homes project is a first for the local organization in that two homes for two families in need are being built as opposed to only building one. Bob Clute, the executive director of the Prince Edward-Hastings chapter of Habitat, said that building two homes at once will cut down on training and development as well as save time.

“Where it would take six to eight months to build a house one at a time, we’ll build two homes in hopefully 4½ to five months,” he said.

Families who qualify for a home must go through a rigorous screening process to own one of the two homes being built on Golfdale Road. The process includes 500 hours of sweat equity – helping to build the house and participating in classes and training. Friends and family can also contribute to the 500 hours of sweat equity.

“We have 20 families (that have moved to Habitat for Humanity homes) and we are doing well that way,” said Clute.

The Prince Edward-Hastings chapter has been building houses for families in need for 20 years. The chapter oversees a large area, including Bancroft, Picton, Trenton and Tyendinaga. Before this year, one house was built in the area per year.The board of directors has mandated that Habitat will build four homes in this area per year going forward.

Jackie Scott volunteered for the second time this year on a Habitat build. She participated in March in the Trenton build, where she worked in the snow and rain to put up siding. Scott took the day off work to participate again in the Golfdale build on Sept. 16.

“I had so much fun in March that I wanted to give back again to a family who might not have a home otherwise. I wanted to give back and learn at the same time,” said Scott.

The Golfdale project is a part of the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build, a fundraiser that gets women building houses and learning on-site. Women who raise over $100 get entered into a draw for prizes.

Clute said the organization could use land in Belleville and Trenton in particular, but it is always looking for help, financially and physically.

“We are always looking for volunteers, and there (are) many ways that people can help. People can lend their strength, in helping build the house. People can donate to us. The ultimate thing people can do is donate property.”

If you are interested in donating to Habitat for Humanity there are a number of ways you can do so. For more information, contact the Habitat for Humanity office at 613-962-7526 or online [4].