Ground breaking ceremony at Saugeen First Nation with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce has starting construction of four houses at Saugeen First Nation for member families. Chief Lester Anoquot and Habitat Executive Director Greg Fryer officially launched the Build in a virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony on May 6th.

Saugeen First Nation and Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce signed a memorandum of understanding last fall forming a partnership that will involve Habitat building energy-efficient and affordable houses for band member families on Saugeen’s territory. In the agreement, Habitat will organize the construction of two, 3 bedroom houses and two 4 bedroom houses using community volunteers and local contractors.

The families who will live in the new homes have been selected by the Chief and Council. They will be required to complete 500 “sweat equity” volunteer hours building their homes. Habitat will also provide homeowner education sessions for the families including budgeting, estate planning and home maintenance.

Due to COVID-19 only volunteers from the Saugeen First Nation community will be permitted to help build these houses. Construction is expected to take up to five months to complete with the goal of the families moving into their new homes by Thanksgiving.

Saugeen First Nation has a population of approximately 1,750 members and nearly half live on reserve. Homeownership and housing in general are important to this community.

Since 2017, Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce has built 13 single dwelling homes in Neyaashiinigmiing for Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation families including the first Habitat built house on First Nations territories in Ontario.

Saugeen First Nation will be using a rent-to-own model with the families selected for the Habitat built homes.  Families will be required to complete 500 volunteer hours building their homes and, after the families move in, they will make monthly payments to the Band and have the opportunity to own their homes in 20 years.