Raffle to help build affordable housing on Spence Road

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Each new home brings Habitat for Humanity NWT closer to its next build, according to executive director Matt Belliveau.

To contribute to that mission, residents can now buy 2,555 raffle tickets – which is equal to the number of families facing inadequate or unaffordable housing in the territory, according to the 2016 census. The proceeds of the raffle tickets, at $60 each, will support a new housing build on Spence Road.

“Affordable housing is a huge issue in the Territory and there are practical ways that people can contribute and volunteer through Habitat,” he said. “Knowing we have some funding place really allows us to take a long view of our operations and how we want to grow it.”

Belliveau said the new house on Spence Road  will be pre-fabricated. Using the model will reduce uncertainties in the building process, he said, as opposed to the organization’s previous projects where changes made halfway through construction could sometimes become  “pricey.”

The model has the added benefit of allowing the organization to spread its efforts to other communities, where there may be smaller labour pools available to assist it Habitat construction.

The raffle is expected to support that expansion into smaller communities.

While the organization had done other fundraisers in the past, the raffle can be repeated annually, creating a steadier source of support for the builds. “It adds certainty of … funds coming in each year,” Belliveau said. Otherwise, he said Habitat relies on grants that can be tied to specific projects, or one-off fundraisers.

It also allows the organization’s volunteers to become more involved in the community, he said.

“It gets our volunteers out into the community as they’re selling tickets and letting people know about the work that Habitat does,” he said.  Those tickets are available at  Polar Tech Recreation, Roy’s Audio Video Unlimited, and the Yellowknife ReStore, in addition to other locations.

Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. on September 21st at the Yellowknife ReStore.

Potential prizes for those winners include an ATV , two round-trip flights with a paired luggage set, and a 55’’ television.

Belliveau, meanwhile, hopes the raffle and Habitat’s ReStore, where it resells donated house furnishings, can build off each other “and at the end of the day Habitat has more funds to proceed with the next build.”

On that front, Habitat’s organizational strategy relies heavily on building momentum on existing housing projects. Families apply through Habitat to pay for their homes, but Habitat, acting as a bank, removes the interest from their mortgages. That makes the housing more accessible and supports Habitat’s next project.

“Each build that we complete becomes a new revenue stream for the charity and brings us closer to the next build,” he said.

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