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Habitat event signalling return to township

FERGUS - Habitat for Humanity Wellington County will be building a semi-detached house this year in Centre Wellington.

This will be the first Habitat project in Centre Wellington since a 2003 build in Elora.

Habitat and the Centre Wellington building committee will be hosting a launch to inform the community about the project and the organization itself. That will be held on Jan. 14 at the Centre Wellington sportsplex from noon to 2pm.

Incorporated in 2000, the local Habitat group serves Guelph and Wellington County and spent its first six years building in Wellington County, including Fergus, Elora, Mount Forest, Arthur and Rockwood.

The home-building, non-profit organization will be returning to Centre Wellington to construct a semi-detached house at 124 Forfar St. in Fergus this spring and summer. Two families will live in the home.

“Centre Wellington communities support the work of Habitat for Humanity and were clamouring to bring a build back to Fergus,” said Karen Welch, co-chairman of the Centre Wellington building committee.

The launch at the sportsplex will allow Centre Wellington residents to:

- be introduced to the project committee and Habitat staff;

- apply to volunteer or to  become a Habitat partner family;

- support fundraising events; and

- learn about the Habitat for Humanity organization.

“We are thrilled to be building in Fergus again, for there are a lot of residents of this town that are deserving of the sustainability and structure home ownership can provide them,” said Diane Nelson, executive director of the local Habitat.

There are 2,965 social housing units in Wellington County. As of December 2007, 1,370 applicants were on the waiting list.

Average waiting times in 2008 for a one-bedroom residence (through social housing) in Wellington County was three to five years, with two- and three-bedroom units hovering at a two-year wait. 

Habitat officials say affordable housing can lead to improved health, education and economic opportunities. They add it also lessens the financial burden on society in the areas of social services, justice and health care.

“Habitat for Humanity provided me a hand up by giving me the ability to lend my hand out to others,” said Melanie Fegan, Habitat partner family of the Elora home.

January 13, 2012


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