who we are
Habitat for Humanity GTA is one of 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates worldwide sharing a common vision and social purpose.
A world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
We mobilize volunteers and communities to help working, lower income families build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.
Founded in 1988, Habitat GTA is a nonprofit housing organization that believes everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live. We mobilize communities to help working, lower income families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, donors, and community partners, we have built more than 360 homes for families, including over 1,300 children, in need of safe, decent, and affordable housing.
In support of our homebuilding, we operate retail home improvement stores called Habitat ReStore. Our 12 locations across the GTA sell new and used donated home furnishings, appliances, and renovation materials to the public at a fraction of the original price. Habitat ReStore collects donations from the community, and proceeds from sales help cover the cost to build Habitat homes.
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by Millard and Linda Fuller and has since spread to 70 countries around the world. The ongoing involvement of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, through the Jimmy Carter Work Project that began in 1984, has brought wide-spread global awareness to our organization and its work.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area was established in 2014 through an amalgamation of three separate Habitat affiliate organizations – Habitat for Humanity Toronto, Brampton-Caledon, and York Region. Like all Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Canada, Habitat for Humanity GTA is an independently governed, non-profit corporation with an affiliate agreement with Habitat for Humanity Canada.
The first Habitat ReStore began in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1991 and the concept has since grown to include hundreds of locations across Canada and the U.S. The first ReStore to open in Toronto was the East York ReStore in 1995.
our core values
|Housing for all: We believe that access to safe, decent and affordable housing is a basic human right that should be available to all.|
|Human dignity: We believe in the worth and dignity of every human being. We respect the people we serve and those that help us in this effort and recognize them as our greatest resource.|
|Partnership: We believe we can best achieve our mission through meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships with others.|
|Faith in action: We believe that faith is lived through action. Building on our Christian foundation, we serve and work with people of all faiths and beliefs in a spirit of justice and compassion.|
|Diversity and Inclusiveness: We believe there is a role for everyone committed to our vision, mission and values and we seek to enrich our organization through diversity.|
how it all works
Through our unique affordable homeownership program, we offer families a hand up, empowering them to build strength, stability, and self-reliance.
- Families purchase an affordable home from Habitat for Humanity GTA most often with no down payment required.
- Since families wouldn’t qualify for a conventional mortgage, we provide a Habitat for Humanity GTA mortgage that removes the barriers to homeownership.
- We offer a fixed, 20-year mortgage with zero interest so that families can maximize the equity they build while raising their children.
- Mortgage payments are calculated annually, so that families never pay more than 30% of household income on shelter costs.
- As part of their partnership with Habitat for Humanity GTA, families contribute “sweat equity” of 500 volunteer hours helping build their home, other Habitat homes, or helping in our ReStores.
- Every family attends financial education workshops to prepare themselves for first-time homeownership.
- As soon as a family starts to pay off their mortgage, Habitat for Humanity GTA puts those dollars to work helping build the next home for the next family. As families pay off their mortgages, donor dollars are reinvested and used by Habitat for Humanity GTA to build more homes for working, lower income families in our community.
- We keep our build costs low through volunteer labour and, as much as possible, donated or reduced-cost building materials and services.