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Opening ReStore in Bradford ‘top priority’ for Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity aims to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable home ownership
A contractor drops supplies off to a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Huronia. The organization plans to open a ReStore in Bradford.

Habitat for Humanity, a renowned social enterprise dedicated to providing affordable housing solutions, is actively pursuing opportunities to establish a ReStore in Bradford. 

“Getting into Bradford is a top priority for us,” said Robert Cikoja, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Huronia. “We’re actively engaging with realtors to find opportunities to open a ReStore in Bradford.”

Habitat has put in offers but hasn’t had success yet.

“As soon as we find a place, we’re ready to jump,” explained Cikoja. “Right now, people are going to the Newmarket or Alliston locations to donate and shop. Opening in Bradford would bring opportunities for us and for local families.”

With a focus on building affordable homes through the support of volunteers and donors, Habitat for Humanity offers a unique approach to housing. 

The organization provides mortgaged homes with zero down payment and a zero interest mortgage, making home ownership more accessible for individuals and families who would otherwise struggle to enter the housing market.

Since the mortgage is also geared-to-income, ensuring that it does not exceed 25 percent of the family's earnings, it allows for families to allocate the remaining 75 per cent of their income for other living costs, savings, education and investments, offering them a realistic path toward financial stability.

“Once financial stability is in place, people become active, contributing members of the community,” said Cikoja. “It leads to physical and mental health for the family as well which helps to build a strong community.”

In addition to providing housing support, Habitat for Humanity also organizes workshops aimed at empowering families with financial literacy, enabling them to enhance their money management skills and build strong foundations for their futures.

The organization's ultimate goal is to assist families in graduating to a traditional mortgage situation, providing them with long-term housing security.

“The Habitat for Humanity model operates on a cyclical basis,” explained Cijoka. “Once a family achieves financial stability, they have the option to sell the home back to us, allowing it to be resold to another family.”

Habitat for Humanity Huronia has been around for 26 years and, to date, has built 50 houses for families in Simcoe County.

The program also promotes community involvement, as families volunteer 500 hours towards the build, ReStore and events.

Habitat offers other benefits to the community as well.

“The more affordable housing available, the less pressure social housing and the rental market will experience which should help to reduce costs,” Cijoka explained.

There are many ways you can assist Habitat for Humanity in their mission to help families in a time of need.

This summer, Habitat is hosting its annual Golf Fore Humanity fundraiser at National Pines Golf Club. To register for a fun-filled day on the course for a good cause, click here.

Aside from taking part in fundraising events, you could also consider volunteering with the organization.

“Whether you are volunteering at a build, at a ReStore, or helping out at fundraising events, we are back in full force after the pandemic and can use all the help we can get,” said Cijoka.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Habitat, click here.

To donate to Habitat for Humanity, click here.

To learn more about how to apply for a home, click here.

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