Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario is inviting the public to attend a groundbreaking Friday for two new homes in the city’s Manor Park neighbourhood.
A ceremony for the homes, which are being built at 16 and 18 Forbes St. for the Robitaille and Solomon families, will get underway around 11 a.m., the group said.
The lots were previously home to Manor and Highland Park Public School which closed in 2010 and was later demolished. In 2015, Habitat Heartland announced plans to build a total of 15 new affordable homes on the site.
Habitat Heartland says they received $25,000 in support of the build by way of Genworth Canada’s annual Meaning of Home contest. A London student, John Latosinsky, won first prize, allowing him to allocate $50,000 to the Habitat(s) of his choice, the group said. Latosinsky gave the other $25,000 to a build involved with Habitat for Humanity’s Indigenous Housing Program.
According to Habitat Heartland, the Robitaille family, made up of Juan Jose, Michelle their three-year-old daughter, and seven-month old son, have been sharing a single bedroom in the townhouse of Michelle’s mother and sisters. The group says Michelle works from home while Juan Jose is taking Boreal ESL classes.
The Solomon family, the group says, has received support from Scotiabank. In a media release, three-year-old Mohammad Solomon is quoted saying his father took the family to see the build site.
“My dad said that Habitat for Humanity and their helpers and our family will work together to build a house for our family. My dad said the day they told him this was one of his happiest days.”
According to Habitat Heartland Interim CEO Linda Armstrong, 62 homes have been completed in the Heartland region so far.
“I am more convinced every day of the lasting impact of building affordable homes,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Families thrive in safe decent surroundings. Children are healthier, happier and often able to achieve higher levels of education.”