Habitat Muskoka eyes six more homes in Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE – Habitat for Humanity Muskoka has big plans for affordable home ownership in Huntsville.
Ellen Frood, executive director for Habitat for Humanity Muskoka, mentioned at a Town of Huntsville planning advisory committee meeting on Feb. 13 that the non-profit organization is negotiating for property to build six more homes in the community.
“We’ve built five in Huntsville. It’s pretty exciting,” Frood told committee members. “And we’re committed to the future.”
The six potential homes are tentative at this point and there is no confirmed timeline for when they would be built.
Frood was at the meeting because a report recommending minor zoning amendments for the two newest Habitat homes on West Street in Huntsville was on the table.
She took the opportunity to note that Habitat has had a lot of support from both community members and town staff in Huntsville while building affordable homes in the area.
“We’re very happy that Huntsville has what we call a YIMBY policy – Yes in My Back Yard – when it comes to affordable housing,” she said. “We’re very fortunate. Working with the town has been a pleasure and privilege.”
Frood later said the plans for the six new homes in Huntsville are tentative because they are still subject to Habitat board approval and property acquisitions, among other requirements. But she confirmed a proposal would come before the board.
Frood said Habitat is continually looking for land across Muskoka, not just in Huntsville.
“We build in all parts of Muskoka so that we’re providing affordable housing in all communities,” said Frood. “Our mandate is to serve all of Muskoka.”
The non-profit organization provides affordable home ownership to low-income families in the region. Families not only have help building their future homes, but also have to pay a mortgage on it through the organization.
Frood noted that the mortgage payments are calculated as an affordable percentage of the homeowners’ income.
“Affordable home ownership is realizing dreams for low-income families that would otherwise not be able to purchase a home,” she said.
She added that there have been recognizable benefits to families who get Habitat homes, including more education opportunities for children.
“And for the community, as was witnessed in Huntsville, it is a way for it to come together to expand the community and help low-income people realize home ownership,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity Muskoka handed the keys of its 13th and 14th homes to Huntsville families in January. The next build will be in Bracebridge.