Two families move into homes
Habitat plans to build more homes next year in Bobcaygeon, Bailieboro, Curve Lake
Melissa Lorenz says another piece to her family’s puzzle is in place now that they have the keys to their new home.
On Thursday, Melissa, her husband David and their children Aiden, 11 and Hanna, 4, were joined by many for a Habitat For Humanity dedication ceremony in front of their new home on Wolfe Street in Peterborough.
They will share the semi-detached house with another family that wished to remain anonymous.
Following speeches from several dignitaries, Melissa addressed the crowd and thanked those in attendance for helping to make her family’s dream of home ownership come true.
“This journey has just been absolutely incredible,” Melissa told the crowd. “This is a lot of hard work and none of this would have been possible without each and everyone of you. Words are not enough to express the love and gratitude we all have for everyone of you.”
The bonds her family has made with the home-building volunteers over the last several months will stay with them forever, she added.
“Dave and I have always worked so very hard to provide the best life that we can for our children … (and now) our children will have a safe and warm place to grow up and our family can continue to focus on our road to success ahead,” Melissa said.
The Lorenz family and the other new homeowner are the 33rd and 34th families that Habitat For Humanity has helped in the Peterborough area in 15 years, said Sarah Burke, chief executive officer with Habitat for Humanity Peterborough and Kawartha Region.
The nonprofit organization uses volunteers and community partners to help build affordable housing and promote home ownership to break the cycle of poverty.
Habitat’s philosophy is to give a hand-up and not a handout to low-income families by offering zero per cent interest mortgages with no down payment and geared to income monthly payments.
“We partner with families to help them build and buy their own home through a unique affordable home ownership solution,” Burke said.
“With skyrocketing rates and the cost of housing at an all-time high, it’s no surprise that countless families are spending close to 50 per cent of their income on housing.”
However, finding suitable property in Peterborough for a Habitat home is becoming an almost impossible endeavour, admitted Burke. She said everyone knows how dire the affordable housing market is in the city, but they often don’t realize that finding affordable, empty land is just as hard.
“So we (were) so fortunate to have a partner step up to help us acquire this property (on Wolfe Street),” Burke said.
That’s why it’s important for Habitat For Humanity to find community partners who are willing to help, she added.
“We need other agencies that have land, we need government that owns land or other properties because we’re willing to take down buildings or renovate buildings. We need people that have larger pieces of property who are willing to severe and allow us to have a parcel,” Burke said.
But that hasn’t stopped Habitat for Humanity.
Burke added they have been able to plan for two new multiunit projects — one in Peterborough and another in an undisclosed location in the county — that, when complete, will provide at least 45 affordable housing units. Burke said she is looking for partners to help with those projects as well.
Beyond that, Burke said Habitat is working on building five more homes next year — two in Bobcaygeon, two in Curve Lake and one in Bailieboro.
The Lorenz family, Melissa, David and their children Aiden, 11, and Hanna, 4, received the key to their new Habitat For Humanity home on Wolfe Street on Thursday.