Habitat and Saugeen First Nation work together on more homes

Today, May 2nd, Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce starts construction of seven 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. A YouTube video of the ceremony that includes the selected families can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/M7Uz4epFlsw

In 2020, Saugeen First Nation and Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce signed a memorandum of understanding forming a partnership that will involve Habitat building energy-efficient and affordable houses for member families on Saugeen’s territory. Last year, Habitat built four houses at Saugeen and this year seven more houses will be constructed using volunteers and local contractors. The families who will live in the new homes have been selected by the Chief and Council. As with all families selected for Habitat’s housing program 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. Habitat is actively recruiting volunteers to help with the Build. Construction is expected to take up to six months to complete with the goal of the families moving into their new homes in late fall.

Stats Canada reports the percentages of households in core housing need are: Bruce County 9.3%, Grey County 11.4%, Ontario 15.3%, Indigenous 18.0%

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 21 single dwelling homes for the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation for member families including the first Habitat built house on First Nations territory in Ontario.

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

“I appreciate all the hard efforts and work that has gone into Habitat for Humanity’s program here at Saugeen First Nation. Kudos to the families that are getting the new homes. Chi-miigwech,” says Lester Anoquot, Chief Saugeen First Nation

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Saugeen First Nation to build safe, affordable and energy efficient homes for member families again this year,” said Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce Executive Director, Grey Fryer. “Our Build is also providing employment for several members of the community and skills training for youth.”