Magazine article Herizons

Habitat Project Breaks New Ground [Women Accepting the Challenge of Housing Building All Women's House]

Magazine article Herizons

Habitat Project Breaks New Ground [Women Accepting the Challenge of Housing Building All Women's House]

Article excerpt

(CALGARY) Maureen Crawford is a woman with a mission. The Calgary Habitat for Humanity President wants to be the first Habitat affiliate in Canada to build an all women's house. By the time the snow falls, Crawford's mission is expected to be accomplished.

Based on a successful US model, Women Accepting The Challenge of Housing (WATCH) is a community-based housing initiative, arising out of local Habitat affiliates, whose goal is to build a house in partnership with a local woman-headed family.

Habitat for Humanity's mandate is to provide people living in substandard housing an opportunity to build and purchase their own homes. With an interest-free mortgage and a sweat equity component, Habitat partners are offered a hand-up, not a hand-out, as they work together, alongside volunteers, to build a home.

"I had heard about the women's builds in the US through the Habitat grapevine and though it would be a great opportunity for women to work together to build a house," says Crawford. "I also knew that a WATCH house had not been built in Canada, and felt that Calgary would be a great place to start."

Funding is still underway, but a number of innovative funding projects and support from local foundations have helped raise over $12,000 so far. Nova Corporation and its employees, spearheaded by committee member Mary Miller, raised $6,600 and Home Depot provided space for workshops on construction skills for WATCH participants. A men's auxiliary bake sale even kicked in $600. …

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