should have a home base from which to explore the world
Our Sunshine Coast Habitat for Humanity
We enjoy a wonderful life here on the Sunshine Coast. Beautiful ocean vistas, beaches and lakes; dozens of hiking trails that are a joy for people of all fitness levels; hundreds of miles of mountain-biking trails; world-class fishing. There’s cross-country skiing in the winter, kayaking in the summer and fine restaurants and enticing shops all year round. Hundreds of fine artists call the Sunshine Coast home and capture its beauty in a myriad of mediums. But not everyone is able to share in this bounty and contribute to our future.
Many Sunshine Coast families juggle multiple jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. When families struggle, children struggle. Some parents have to make the tough choice to either pay their bills or feed their family.
We are working to change this, and affordable housing is a big step toward this goal.
Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast is one of more than 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates worldwide sharing a common vision and purpose. We are a non-profit housing organization working with families and communities to build safe, decent and affordable homes. By offering zero down payment, no-interest mortgages capped at 30 per cent of a family’s income, Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast empowers families to achieve stability and self-reliance, so that they can build a better life for themselves and their children.
While the Sunshine Coast may not have to deal with gang violence and rough inner-city neighbourhoods, we have our own unique problems that can hold families back. A quick glance at the real estate pages of our local newspapers shows that housing prices are soaring as more and more people flee Vancouver’s overheated housing market. Compounding the problem is a severe lack of affordable rental housing as landlords put their property up for sale to take advantage of the red-hot housing market.
As the Sunshine Coast becomes more and more popular with tourists, many landlords are putting their properties into the short-term rental market, such as Airbnb, further reducing the affordable housing options for struggling families. Huge layoffs at Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Ltd., one of the largest employers on the Sunshine Coast, have also put many families under stress. All of this means that many young, working families are stretched to the limit.
Affordable home ownership helps families break the cycle of poverty by enabling these families to build equity and assets and reduce their dependence on other forms of social assistance. Owning a decent, safe, affordable home can allow a family to live a more financially stable, healthier life, and creates possibilities where they can save for their future, invest in education and provide opportunities for their children and for generations to come.
International Habitat Story
Millard and Linda Fuller 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.
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers first visited Koinonia in 1965. They had recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of "partnership housing." The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
Inception of Habitat for Humanity
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun.
The Fund for Humanity
The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a revolving fund called "The Fund for Humanity.” The fund's money would come from the new homeowners' house payments, no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.
The Fund for Humanity’s Mission Statement
What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but co-workers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance. The Fund for Humanity will meet both of these needs. Money for the fund will come from shared gifts by those who feel they have more than they need and from non-interest bearing loans from those who cannot afford to make a gift but who do want to provide working capital for the disinherited . . . The fund will give away no money. It is not a handout.
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. HFHI 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 three territories and has successfully provided over 2,800 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 shelter for more than 6.8 million people.