- Habitat, Vernon Chapter
- Habitat, Kelowna
- Habitat, International
Founded in 2007, the Vernon Chapter was created with the mission of mobilizing volunteers and community partners in the North Okanagan to come together to build affordable housing for those in need. This non-profit organization’s goal is to ensure that all Canadians have a safe and decent place to live and was built on the knowledge that homeownership is an effective means to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Our Committee Members
Founded in 1992, has helped 20 families realize their dreams of home ownership. Habitat for Humanity Kelowna is acting as the independent parent and mentor of the Vernon Chapter.
Millard and Linda Fullard founded the Habitat for Humanity movement in 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Built on the idea of partnership housing, Habitat for Humanity volunteers gave a hand up to those in need by working side by side with them to build safe, decent and affordable houses.
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 72 affiliates in 10 provinces and two territories and has successfully provided almost 1,800 families with safe, decent and affordable housing.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide—providing shelter for more than 2 million people.
http://www.habitat.ca or http://www.habitat.org
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis. About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to the United Nations.1 These people are increasingly urban residents, and every week more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world.2 Today, a billion people―32 percent of the global urban population―live in urban slums. If no serious action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.3
Importance of clean, decent, and stable housing
Habitat for Humanity has shown that building homes does more than put a roof over someone’s head. In clean, decent, stable housing:
Clean, warm housing is an essential input for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.
Childhood is a precious time when our experiences shape the adults we become―but children who grow up in bad housing are robbed of their future chances …
- Families can provide stability for their children;
- A family’s sense of dignity and pride grow;
- Health, physical safety, and security improve;
- Educational and job prospects increase.
Through our own programs we have witnessed the transformational ability of good housing. Scholarly research confirms what Habitat for Humanity has known for so long. A report issued by the Planning and Development Collaborative International stated, “Clean, warm housing is an essential input for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.”5 An Emory University research study on Habitat for Humanity’s work in Malawi found Habitat housing improved the health of young children as much as water and sanitation programs. The study found that children under 5 living in Habitat for Humanity houses had 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses.6
The future rests in the decisions made today. Bad housing has its greatest impact on children. As Lisa Harker, a British housing expert, explains, “Childhood is a precious time when our experiences shape the adults we become―but children who grow up in bad housing are robbed of their future chances …” Those chances are stolen by the detrimental impact poverty housing has on everyday life.
Housing is a great means of wealth creation
For lower income families who are able to own a home, ownership is an important means of wealth accumulation.7 In developing countries, housing construction creates job opportunities and stimulates small businesses. The process of securing land tenure for informal settlements helps to increase access to credit.8
Good housing attracts economic investment & development
Good housing also contributes to thriving school systems and community organizations. It is a catalyst for civic activism and a stimulus for community-based organizations. Safe homes and neighborhoods, where residents are satisfied with housing conditions and public services, help to build social stability & security.9
Housing must become a priority
If action to decrease poverty is to be successful, increasing the housing supply across the globe is essential. Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the world’s economies, communities, and populations, yet the percentage of people without access to decent, stable housing is rising. The United Nations projects that by the year 2030 an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing.10 If we are to prevent such a dramatic escalation of the housing crisis, and if we are to succeed in the fight against poverty, we must support the expansion of housing both as policy and as practice.