– Finding a place to live can be a daunting task during the best of times, especially one that fits your budget.
It’s for that reason that College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) want to continue working together, to provide a solution to this ongoing problem for families with low incomes.
Both organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this month that extends their existing two-year agreement for another two years. The aim is to continue to develop affordable homeownership and collaborate on specifically agreed to projects, which will also provide CNA students with a learning experience.
CNA President & CEO Dr. Bill Radford says this agreement aligns with CNA’s mandate of providing a lifelong hands-on learning environment, as well as turning out graduates who are highly skilled and able to meet the demands of the labour market.
“We have an opportunity through organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, to partner with the communities in which CNA exists to ensure that we contribute to the social and economic development of this province. This MOU is a win-win as our students receive hands-on training in their fields of study. This complements what they learn in the classrooms, and they can apply this knowledge in the community. In the meantime, Habitat for Humanity, as a not-for-profit organization, ensures that those in need have a safe and decent place to live.”
Among the CNA programs that have been involved in building projects over the past number of years are: Architectural Engineering Technology, Business Management, Cabinetmaker, Carpenter, Civil Engineering Technology, Construction/Industrial Electrician, Cook and Baker, Geomatics/Surveying Engineering Technology, Graphic Design and Renovation Technician. A combination of any or all of these programs will contribute to the construction and eventual home ownership by families involved in the projects.
It is this investment of time, skills, and volunteers, that gives Sandra Whiffen, Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director in NL, hope that they will continue successful projects. She agrees with Radford that this collaboration with CNA is win-win. Habitat for Humanity NL relies heavily on the hundreds of volunteers, partners, individuals and corporate sponsors involved in building a home by investing time and donations to help address the growing need for affordable homeownership. Being able to avail of CNA’s staff, students and programs has been an asset, she adds.
Currently, there are two housing initiatives, with four components, underway in NL: a triplex in Conception Bay South, and a house for the downtown region of St. John’s. The level of participation from CNA depends on which of the pertinent programs are available in these areas.
“When families, who are actively involved in the builds, are given the keys to their homes, this is what it’s all about. Sense of community and homeownership becomes a foundation upon which to build their lives. We tap into resources when and where we can to complete these builds, as our own funding is limited. This partnership with CNA has been invaluable, and we are happy to have our current agreement continue for another two years.”
For more information on CNA programs, visit www.cna.nl.ca
, or for more information about Habitat for Humanity NL you can visit them at http://www.habitatnl.ca/SitePages/Home.aspx
College of the North Atlantic