by Robert Washburn
When Habitat for Humanity Northumberland hands over the keys to Amanda Wagg and her three young children this afternoon in Port Hope it will be unique in many ways.
Certainly, it will be a significant day in Wagg’s life as she moves into her first house on Hope Street.
However, it will also be notable for all the members of Habitat as it represents a unique project the non-profit group as it is the final house in a special project it began in 2010. The project, called Where Harcourt meets Hope Street, consists of nine brand new houses in a tiny subdivision.
Meaghan MacDonald, the executive director for Habitat, said today this was a very different project for the group. First, it involved a significant partnership with the municipality of Port Hope, Northumberland County, the school board and the PMB Group, a private sector contractor.
MacDonald said it didn’t just involve this extensive collaboration, but the homes were built from the ground up. That is unusual because Habitat renovates an existing building typically.
She said the 21 families it has already helped to get affordable housing were renovations. The group had also developed multiple homes along a single street before, as was the case on Alexandria Drive in Cobourg.
This time, each lot was vacant, including a portion of an old schoolyard donated to the project.
MacDonald said this is significant because it opens up other possibilities in the future where Habitat is no longer limited to finding an existing building to use.