Local Habitat for Humanity projects are gearing up for another season of construction.

Habitat for Humanity CEO, Jamie Hall, says the various Habitat Chapters are setting up volunteer schedules and working with their community trades to begin the build process throughout the province.

When we look closer at the Habitat build projects, we see it's a win-win-win for the entire community!  A local family receives a new home, the community receives a new house on their street, local businesses receive the economic benefits of construction material, equipment and labor, and volunteers enjoy raising roofs and swinging hammers together in championing their neighbors to own their own home!

"We have some great chapters across the province that are planning on builds this year and in some cases, each chapter needs to raise their own funds and then they need to coordinate the construction of the house," explains Hall. "So, that means getting property, having the funds in place, and then coordinating their volunteers and trades people."

Winkler is home to one of the current projects in progress or starting up this year. Hall notes, and even though some communities will start a new build project this year, they may not finish, as that depends on a number of factors.

There is certainly more need than the ability to build houses fast enough, says Hall. When a chapter is ready to start building another house, the committee will put out a call within the community for any families that might be interested and then eligible for the program with Habitat for Humanity.

Eligibility requirements include the family having at least one child who is a dependent.  The family must also be within the standards issued by Manitoba Housing for subsidized housing or social housing as a low-income family.  Families then go through a selection process with the local chapter.

"it's very exciting, especially in a small community, when a family is chosen and we can actually start engaging with them," he says. "They can start putting in their labour hours to 'earn' that house essentially with 500 hours of labour.  But that is usually all involved in the exciting time of building the house with all the other volunteers at that build site!"

"For those families it also creates a deeper sense of ownership," he adds. "It's not only about owning wood, bricks and mortar, but it's a way that they're integrated into the community, and they can see that other community members are working with them to help them realize their dream of owning their own house."

"It is such an exciting time, culminating in that key ceremony with the family, but I hear from volunteers all the time just how wonderful it is to be working alongside a future homeowner as you actually help them build their house."

And when it comes to volunteers, Habitat for Humanity welcomes all sorts of team builds.  From church groups to staff from a specific business to women build teams, teen teams and full family teams!