January 24, 2023 – The Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan Board of Directors announces that Gary Gurtler is appointed as Interim Chief Executive Officer effective March 1, 2023. Mr. Gurtler has worked for Habitat in a variety of roles, most recently as Director, Prince Albert Region and Provincial ReStores and also as Interim Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert.

“Gary is absolutely committed to Habitat’s mission, is deeply knowledgeable about all aspects of Habitat’s operations, and is well respected by his peers and partners”, stated Bruce Anderson, Chair of the Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan Board of Directors. Mr. Gurtler was appointed after the resignation of Denis Perrault as Chief Executive Officer which is effective February 28, 2023.

“The merger of the three affiliates into one provincial affiliate had many challenges but is largely completed. Denis Perrault provided outstanding leadership and critical decision-making during the intensive time of the merger and has set a path for Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan to grow and provide more families with affordable housing. We are grateful for Denis’s contributions, but I know he is looking forward to some downtime and to pursue other interests”, offered Anderson.

The Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan Human Resources Committee, with the assistance of Affective Consulting, is currently conducting a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer.

For media inquiries or information on the Chief Executive Officer search, please contact:

Bruce Anderson, Board Chair

Tel: (306) 539-6311

Email: ceosearch@habitatsask.ca

 

As seen on Habitat Canada’s news channel – https://habitat.ca/en/news

As we mark National Housing Day on November 22 and as the housing affordability crisis deepens and further divides Canadians, it is time for us to recognize that our communities are in trouble, with too many people struggling to stay properly housed.

Forty per cent of Canadians are concerned about being able to pay their rent or mortgage over the next 12 months, according to Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Affordable Housing Survey. And four in five worry about having to spend less on food, savings, transportation and/or debt payments to pay for the roof over their heads.

Looking at generational differences, millennials are more than twice as likely as boomers to worry about paying rent or mortgages. Millennials make up the largest percentage of renters in Canada and they are the most pessimistic that Canada’s housing woes can be solved. That’s not too surprising, given that millennials are adults with young kids and established careers who expected that, by now, they would have the kinds of things their parents had – like an affordable home.

Now consider those most affected by the housing crisis – people who are finding it harder than ever to access stable, safe and affordable housing and put food on the table – and for whom homeownership has always been out of reach. Sixty-eight per cent of Canadian food bank users live in market rentals and, according to Food Banks Canada, they list housing costs as one of the top drivers of their food bank usage. It’s no wonder – the average rent in Canada was up 15.4 percent over the previous year, bringing the average monthly total to $2,024 a month.

Every aspect of the housing continuum – from homeless shelters to affordable housing, market rentals and homeownership – is under increasing strain, making it impossible for people to move along it. We must invest in all types of housing, and tackle the barriers to getting it built: zoning laws that don’t allow density and increased supply; municipal red tape that ties up developments, including affordable housing, for years; and the lack of affordable land. Municipalities that are increasing density, making it easier to build housing, and designating land for affordable housing will reap the benefits of having vibrant, prosperous and inclusive communities.

The issue of housing also divides neighbourhoods. Half of Canadians we asked felt that Not In My Backyard or NIMBY sentiment is one of the main barriers to making affordable housing available in neighborhoods, and 71 per cent agreed that ‘people worry about the impact of affordable housing on their property values and neighborhood’. Yet time and time again, studies show that well integrated affordable housing does not negatively affect property values and can actually benefit them. Canadians need to rethink their assumptions about what makes for a thriving neighbourhood and embrace the upsides of communities where everyone can live. After all, who wants to live in a place where vital and familiar services aren’t available because the staff they need have nowhere to live?

What Canadians do agree on is that housing matters. Let’s start there. We all need an affordable place to call home. And three-quarters of Canadians believe that more affordable housing could solve the social issues we are facing as a country. They’re right.  If we come together to address the housing crisis, we will be better positioned to solve other societal issues. Having access to a home with an affordable and stable cost – whether it is through rent or a mortgage – allows people to build financial stability. The experience of Habitat homeowners shows that when people no longer have to worry about whether to pay rent or put food on the table, they can focus on improving their economic opportunities, pursue additional education, and save for their child’s education. Knowing that 75 per cent of Canadians believe that too, is a hopeful sign that things will change.

We are a country of communities, and we all have a stake and a role to play in making our communities prosperous, welcoming, and inclusive, with safe and affordable homes for all. This is going to take an all-in approach from non-profits, businesses, and all levels of government, and the support and encouragement of individuals. We are all accountable for building better communities.

A better Canada begins with housing. And better housing begins with all of us.

Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan Announces the 62 Unit Build Completion Celebration at Haultain Crossing, 1033 Edgar St.

Regina, SK – Haultain Crossing, the largest Habitat for Humanity build in Saskatchewan and the second largest in Canada, began construction in June 2015. This seven-year build has helped Habitat to serve sixty-two-plus families who have entered into homeownership and have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home. The last seven families moved into their homes at Haultain Crossing at the end of March 2022. In addition to these homes, a communal park was built that we will be naming the Conexus Credit Union Family Greenspace to honour them being the lead partner and donor for the project.

“Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan has provided sixty-two plus families with a forever home at Haultain Crossing and an opportunity to build a brighter future for their children in Saskatchewan through affordable homeownership,” said Denis Perrault, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan. “The mission of Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan is to help break the cycle of poverty with families through our homeownership program, and we know that this massive project has helped to achieve this goal. We are extremely proud of completing this seven-year build project as a non-profit organization and look to the future with excitement as we continue to build safe, decent, and affordable homes across the province.  This project was made possible with the support of many valued partners, donors, community members, staff, and volunteers. Conexus Credit Union has been our lead partner throughout this journey and with their pledge of $1 million dollars over four years which started in 2020, we were able to serve many families across Saskatchewan and at Haultain Crossing.  This contribution is not taken lightly, and we are so grateful that an organization such as Conexus Credit Union can offer us such a transformational gift to help people in need of housing.”

“Shelter is a necessity, and we know that when someone’s basic human needs are met, they can become financially well. Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, we are not only able to provide over 80 families across the province with homes but have also created the Conexus Credit Union Family Greenspace – a space within the Regina-based Habitat community to gather, play and make memories,” said Mark Borgares, Board Chair, Conexus Credit Union. “Through our $1 million partnership, we are honoured to work with such an impactful organization that’s helping to improve the financial well-being of our community, and celebrate the families, sponsors, donors, suppliers, surrounding community members and volunteers who all play a critical role in making a meaningful difference for these families.”

In addition to the support received from Conexus, Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan also received funding from the Federal Government (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation), Provincial Government (Saskatchewan Housing Corporation), City of Regina, ISC, Farm Credit Canada, Greystone Managed Investments, The Mosaic Company, and many more local businesses. Habitat Saskatchewan is thankful for all volunteers that came out to work on this build over the years and everyone who participated in Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan’s mission.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, please visit www.habitatsaskatchewan.ca.

Media Contacts:

Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan

Amanda Castilleja

acastilleja@habitatsask.ca

306-347-4657

 

Conexus Credit Union

Community Engagement

publicrelations@conexus.ca

306-781-5201

 

 

Habitat for Humanity hands over 17 units to new homeowners!

“We were so happy and excited knowing that our family will be safe, and we never have to be a part again, and our kids will have the freedom to live their lives with security. It means the world to us.”

City councillor Terina Shaw (Ward 7) and Minister of Social Services Lori Carr also attended Monday’s event. Shaw spoke of how she empathizes with Moo and Ku, as she herself has experienced difficulty in finding and affording accessible housing. She said the story is “very dear to my heart.”

“I have a daughter with a wheelchair and, you know, just trying to find places that are accessible, trying to find the money to make things accessible was very, very difficult,” said Shaw.

During the announcement families living in the units came to join and take part in the announcement. People from all over the world are represented within the community. Children played on snowdrifts, parents spoke to one another and families sat and stood on the front steps leading to their homes.

“This seems to me like such a wonderful community. It’s not just a home, it’s a community,” said Shaw.

The project will see 62 families moved into homes that they will own. Denis Perrault, CEO HFH Saskatchewan, said the project, which started back in 2016, currently houses around 150 people.

Check out the full article here:

https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/habitat-for-humanity-hands-over-17-units-to-new-homeowners

Check out this article: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/media-newsroom/news-releases/2022/new-homes-support-most-vulnerable-regina

Regina, Saskatchewan, March 10, 2022

Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Affordable housing is key to Canada’s pandemic recovery for communities across the country, including in Regina.Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, was joined by Tara Osipoff, Executive Vice-President, Avana, and Nicki Ackerman, CEO of Avana Foundation Inc., to announce a federal investment of $30.8 million to support the construction of new housing through the National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF), representing the largest federal investment in affordable housing through the National Housing Strategy (NHS) for the city of Regina.Located on Trombley Street, the three-storey, wood-frame apartment building will be comprised of 116 units, with 39 units of affordable housing dedicated for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Building amenities include 117 electrified surface parking stalls, as well as an onsite turf play area, and a playground in the interior courtyard for children to play.

The building will be owned and operated by Avana Foundation Inc., the non-profit arm of the Avana, a real estate development and property management company based in Regina. Established in 2019, the Avana Foundation Inc. was created to provide affordable housing and give back to the western Canadian communities where they operate.

Construction of the Trombley Street project is currently underway and will begin welcoming residents in spring 2023.

This investment by the Government of Canada was made possible by the National Housing Strategy’s (NHS) National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF).

Habitat Saskatoon, Habitat Regina, and Habitat Prince Albert have merged to form Habitat Saskatchewan as of January 2021! As a  provincial organization, we will bring together our collective strengths to help build safe, decent, and affordable homes for families across the province.

Conexus Credit Union has pledged one million dollars to Habitat Saskatchewan over four years! This generous donation will build 80 affordable homes for families across the province.

Habitat Saskatchewan is grateful to Conexus Credit Union for their support and we look forward to working together to help Saskatchewan families build strength, stability and independence through affordable housing.