Carpentry students build homes for Habitat
September 10, 2014

A group of men and women in hard hats, placing boards on a semi-built surface.

Students from the Carpentry Techniques program at Georgian College’s Muskoka Campus hard at work at their first day on the Habitat for Humanity build in Gravenhurst.

Students in the Carpentry Techniques program at Georgian’s Muskoka Campus will go beyond the classroom this semester to help on a Habitat for Humanity build site in Gravenhurst. They will work on the build site two days a week putting their learning to use.

“The hands-on experience students will gain on this build will complement campus learning and boost students’ confidence in their skills,” says Muskoka Campus Manager Bonnie DeWitt. “Georgian is committed to being a catalyst for change, so we’re delighted to do our part to help two local families gain a home.”

Building community partnerships and working in the community is important to Habitat for Humanity and Georgian College. “Our vision is a world where everyone has a safe, decent place to live and this partnership with Georgian College is a step to building more homes, more efficiently,” says Ellen Frood, Chief Executive Officer for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. “Students receive real life experience on the site and two partner families will receive homes when the build is complete.”

These will be the 19th and 20th Habitat homes built in Muskoka. The homes are not given away but thanks to a unique arrangement with Habitat and its partners, they are sold to the families at fair market value with an interest free mortgage. What makes Habitat’s homes affordable is that the total payments including mortgage and taxes, is 25% of the homeowner’s total income. The families will contribute 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ into their home which is one of the key criteria for participation.