On June 29th a deserving Hamilton family received the keys and took ownership of latest Habitat for Humanity Hamilton home which was constructed by Homes by DeSantis on a lot donated by the City of Hamilton. Located on Comet Avenue along the beach strip this is the 14th family that Habitat Hamilton has started on the journey of home ownership and a healthier future for their children.
Being the first builder in Hamilton to join with Habitat Hamilton to build a home, Gabriel De Santis, President of Homes by De Santis said, “It’s a natural fit for my team members to give back and come together for the common cause of changing the lives of a Hamilton family.” Built in less than 50 days this project called upon more than just the generosity of Mr. De Santis, it also drew on the strength of many of his trades and service providers.
While the actual costs involved in building a home are substantial, the lot is also a major factor in an overall project. A vacant property provided by the the City of Hamilton moved this new home project ahead. Paul Parker, Vice Chair of Habitat Hamilton recognized the leadership of both Mr. DeSantis and also city Councillor Chad Collins and stated that through the vision of these two the new homeowners and their five children are well on the way to a future that until today seemed to be a hope and a prayer. Michele Den Besten best summed up the day when she said, “From the bottom of our heart, thank you. You have made our children smile; you have given them a home, a future, a place to grow, to make memories, to become the people that they are meant to be.”
Hamilton’s Social Planning and Research Council reported that an estimated 26% of children under the age of 6 lived in strained economic conditions. It is recognized that homeownership is a vital tool in breaking the cycle of poverty that Habitat partner families break free from. Homeownership through a partnership with Habitat involves the partner families throughout the process. Once accepted the families are expected to contribute 500 hours in what is called “sweat equity” through building alongside other community members or involvement in other Habitat programs. Like today, once the family is given the keys to their home they start to repay the mortgage held by Habitat which is based on fair market value. This is why Habitat for Humanity say, we give families a “Hand Up not a Hand Out”.
Habitat for Humanity Hamilton changes lives of families through the power of homeownership. Since 1991 Habitat Hamilton has changed the lives of 13 families, enabling dreams to become reality for the partner families and growing the health of the community of Hamilton