From the left: Following the presentation of certificates, Hank Blasiak was joined by South Stormont economic development/communications coordinator Chris Hemond, South Glengarry Coun. and MPP Nolan Quinn’s executive assistant Sam McDonell, City of Cornwall Coun. Sarah Good and South Dundas director of parks, recreation and facilities David Jansen and Leigh Taggart.  Thompson Goddard Photo

CORNWALL – Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & The Counties held a 25th anniversary celebration combined with the announcement of the partner families for the latest build on Nov. 22, designated as National Housing Day in Canada, at the re-store in Cornwall.

Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of the global Habitat for Humanity organization, a non-governmental and non-profit organization which seeks to build affordable housing for people. In Canada there are 46 local groups, with Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & The Counties serving Akwesasne, Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.

“Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & The Counties is thrilled to have celebrated 25 years of building strength, stability and self-reliance in Cornwall, SDG and Akwesasne on Nov. 22,” commented a press release from the organization on Nov. 23.

Hank Blasiak, board chair of Habitat Cornwall & The Counties, welcomed people to the event, with representatives from SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn’s office, the City of Cornwall and the municipalities of South Dundas, South Glengarry, and South Stormont offering congratulatory certificates on this milestone achievement. SDSG MP Eric Duncan was unable to attend the event and sent congratulations and warm wishes to the organization which were shared to those attending by Blasiak.

Two partner families shared their experiences with the organization in the building of their family homes and their gratitude for this opportunity. “Over 25 years of community partnership, Habitat Cornwall has built 18 safe, affordable homes. Of the 18 homes built and purchased by local, low-income, working families, six were purchased by families coming from social housing,” said executive director Leigh Taggart in the release. She noted during her address the impact of the housing crisis on local families, mentioning how during the 12 years she has worked for the organization families are now applying because they can’t afford to stay in their rental homes as opposed to issues with the building.  The latest build from Habitat Cornwall & The Counties is planned for Maxville in North Glengarry on a lot donated by the municipality. It was explained the build is the first one to be located in the municipality of North Glengarry and will be the first semi-detached home built which will provide a home for two families. It was then announced that Cory and Brigitte Jacques and their four children as well as Melissa Gaines and her children Claire and Caleb are the partner families for the build. It is expected to be completed in late 2024. “Habitat homes are not given away. These families are now partnering with Habitat Cornwall in preparation to purchase  their new affordable homes. After committing to 500 hours of partnership and volunteer time, these Partner Families will purchase their new homes – at fair market value – with interest free, geared to income mortgages,” explained the release.