Local Habitat Selects Next Homeowners

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Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area (HFHSSMA) has selected a family to become the homeowners of their next build on Oakwood Drive. The non-profit organization is pleased to announce they will be working with Tracy Poliquin, her mother, Carol-Anne Grisdale, and her daughter, Riddley Proulx, on this new and exciting chapter in Habitat history.

The family of three currently lives in a crowded two-bedroom mobile home in need of many repairs due to water damage and age. This has put a lot of stress on Tracy.

“The work that needs to be done in the home is very overwhelming. I have not been able to keep up with the repairs these last few years, as I put myself through school to be a Registered Practical Nurse, and then trying to work part-time to make it by,” says Tracy.

“Tracy and her family are precisely who we set out to support through the house we build here at Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area. People who are dedicated to making life better for themselves and their community, in spite of the obstacles they face. We support brave Canadians who have the means to be homeowners but who cannot get a traditional mortgage, for whatever reason. All of our the families we partner with are shining examples of hard-working people who make our community stronger, and we are beyond pleased to welcome Tracy, Carol, and Riddley to the Habitat family here in Sault Ste. Marie,” says Allyson Schmidt, who serves as a Chair on Habitat’s Family Services Committee.

As a single mother, Tracy encountered additional challenges when Riddley, now age 6, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at two-and-a-half years old. “Learning different ways on how to parent is what we go through daily,” Tracy explains. “We keep very busy. Riddley is a child that needs lots of activities … We like to swim, bike, walk. We practice her reading and printing skills. We love movies. When at home, we like the trampoline … Well, Riddley does.”

Tracy wanted to become a homeowner to find stability for herself and her daughter, noting that, to her, “home” means “Safety, security, stability. A place to be proud of.”

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area has constructed 11 homes since 2002, however Oakwood Drive will be the first accessible build for the Affiliate. The three-bedroom, single family home will feature barrier free entrances, wider doorways and a stand-up shower. “It is the perfect home for this multigenerational family. It will give Tracy peace of mind and it will allow Carol-Anne greater freedom of mobility” states Katie Blunt, Executive Director.

Before moving into their new home, set to be built by the end of 2020, Tracy and her family will need to complete 500 hours of voluntary service for HFHSSMA. “I would love to help out with the build, and I will help out at the store if needed,” Tracy says. Carol-Anne says she will also help out where she can, so long as the work is not too strenuous. Tracy notes that she has additional family and friends who are eager to help in completing these hours.

Once the home is built and these hours are complete, the house will be sold to Tracy at market value, with special conditions including interest-free, geared-to-income mortgage payments. These payments will help HFHSSMA to further its impact within the community by building more homes in the years to come.

Despite the difficult times caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, Habitat for Humanity is committed to continuing to build homes with families like Tracy’s in their mission of affordable homeownership. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing financially to affordable homeownership in the community please contact Pauline Pennett, Resource Coordinator, at [email protected].