Who We Are

Founded in 2002, Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area is a non-profit charitable housing organization that believes everyone deserves a decent place to live.

We strive to mobilize and work with our community to help local families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Thanks to the help of volunteers, donors, and community partners, twelve Habitat families have found safe, decent, and affordable homes upon which to build brighter and more stable futures.

Our Affordable Homeownership Program

We don’t give away free homes; rather, our Affordable Homeownership Program bridges a gap for families unable to afford a traditional mortgage by providing them with the opportunity to purchase their own home.

Families who apply and are accepted to become Habitat Homeowners purchase their home through a no-down-payment, interest-free mortgage geared to their income and contribute at least 500 volunteer hours to Habitat.

Once they move in, Habitat homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own home. We help families and individuals prepare for homeownership by providing homeowner education classes, ranging from financial literacy and budgeting to home-repair and maintenance.

Our path to homeownership requires hard work, time, and dedication, but this helps ensure the long-term success of the families we partner with.

How do we keep our mortgages affordable?

We make affordable homeownership accessible by removing barriers that can make owning a home impossible for many low-income working families and individuals.

Although Habitat homes are sold at fair market value, Habitat homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are interest-free and set at no more than 30 percent of their gross household income, including principal repayment and property tax. Each year, the gross household income is reviewed and adjustments to the monthly mortgage payment are made based on that income assessment.

Habitat Homeowners must be active participants in building a better home and future for themselves and their families.

To qualify, eligible homeowners must be:

  • In need of better housing
    • Potential homebuyers might be dealing with poorly maintained, unhealthy, or overcrowded housing; unaffordable rent; inaccessible housing for people living with disabilities; or have other shelter needs.
  • Willing to partner with Habitat
    • Habitat Homeowners volunteer a minimum of 500 hours with Habitat including volunteer hours spent building their own home or at a Habitat ReStore. This also includes classes in personal finances, home maintenance, and other homeowner topics.
  • Able to make affordable mortgage payments
    • Habitat homeowners buy their home for the fair market value. Mortgage payments are made affordable because they do not exceed 30 percent of the gross household income, and income is evaluated on a yearly basis.

Our Roots

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area

"We did it!! Two years since our first interest group meeting and we are thrilled to announce we are officially a Habitat for Humanity Affiliate.

I personally want to thank all present and former board members who worked so hard on the affiliation process. We also thank the original steering committee members and of course our local founder Gene Quinn for bringing Habitat for Humanity to Sault Ste. Marie. This was definitely a team effort and it shows in our strengths and patience.

It is not time to rest yet. Now we start raising money and planning for the future. We are always looking for dedicated committee members and potential new board members, however, if you only have the odd day to donate or a few hours a week we have a job for you!

We have been chomping at the bit to get this far and now we can celebrate and [be thankful] for this blessing."

- Nancy Bailey (Chairperson) in an excerpt from Habitat's Cornerstone newsletter in the Summer of 2002

Habitat for Humanity Canada

Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in 1985. It has since grown to 56 affiliates in 10 provinces and 2 Territories. Over the years, Habitat for Humanity Canada volunteers have logged more than 10 million hours, contributing to the completion of over 2,500 homes for low-income Canadian families. The Canadian headquarters is located in Toronto, Ontario.

View the 2019 Habitat Impact Infographic

Habitat for Humanity International

The Habitat for Humanity movement was founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by Millard and Linda Fuller. The program developed from the concept of "partnership housing" where those in need of adequate shelter work with volunteers from all walks of life to build simple, decent houses. Habitat has built, rehabilitated, improved more than 600,000 houses around the world, providing more than 3 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter

Global Village

Habitat for Humanity Canada invites you to join thousands of volunteers from all over the world who are working to eliminate poverty one house at a time. The Global Village teams bring invaluable support to the communities they visit. Volunteers do not need building experience, just adventure, and good health. Work with a family to help them build a home, strengthen their community, and enrich both their lives and your own. You’ll be more than a tourist as you will be welcomed into the community by your hosts and introduced to the local culture as a guest.

To learn more please visit the Global Village website or contact our local Global Village Team Leader,Tammy Paterson at tdot08@sympatico.ca Tammy is a seasoned volunteer and led her first team to Armenia in April, 2013!

Phenomenal Growth

In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat's ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat's work across the nation. Habitat For Humanity International experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country. In 1985, the movement spread to Canada with the first Canadian build in Winkler, Manitoba. Two years later, Winnipeg became home to the first Canadian affiliate. Habitat for Humanity in Canada has since grown to 56 affiliates in 10 provinces and two territories and has successfully provided over 2,500 families with safe, decent and affordable housing.

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 600,000 houses worldwide – providing housing for more than 3 million people.

Our Mission

We bring our community together to help local families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

Our Vision

A world where everyone has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live.

Our Values

Trust & Respect: We value relationships built on transparency and integrity, and accomplish our mission through mutual support and appreciation.

Accountability & Dependability:  We value responsibility and ownership for results, and demonstrate reliability by delivering on our commitments.

Communication & Collaboration: Values open communication across the organization and demonstrate teamwork through cooperation and support that helps everyone achieve greater impact.

Empowerment & Initiative: We value empowerment as a means of inspiring and engaging individuals, resulting in greater incentive for accomplishing our collective mission.

Fairness & Flexibility: We value diversity and equity throughout the organization, and uphold a balanced and healthy environment.

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EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA (7/1/16)-Canada Day celebrations in Edmonton.  © Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein

Transforming Lives: The Social Return on Habitat's Work in Canada

The Boston Consulting Group conducted a quantitative study to provide an assessment of Habitat’s social return on investment (SROI). They found that every Habitat home generates $175,000 worth of benefits to society. In Canada, our program has created a social return on investment of over $590 million since we started in 1985.

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Building Families’ Futures and Opportunities Through Habitat Homeownership

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation conducted a Canada-wide survey of Habitat families. After purchasing a home through us, these families reported improved health, happiness, and overall well-being.

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2019 Annual Report

Click here to read Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area's 2019 Annual Report, as prepared for the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Frank Bentrovato

Chair

Allyson Schmidt

Vice Chair

Norman Fera

Treasurer

Denton Middaugh

Secretary

Nancy Bailey

Director

Bruno Barban

Director

Jeffrey King

Director

David Thompson

Past Chair

Staff

Katie Blunt

Executive Director

Joe Mackenzie

Finance & Risk Manager

Amanda Ridley

ReStore Manager 

Chelsey Foucher

Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator

Volunteers

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