CNA, Habitat for Humanity NL join forces to help affordable housing initiative

Future community projects to benefit from students, grads with skilled trades

3/30/2022 2:47:43 PM

ST. JOHN’S, NL – When a learning experience turns into a project that helps families in need, it’s a win for everyone.

This is one of the goals of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). This agreement marks the renewal of a partnership between the two organizations, with the hope of expanding opportunities even more than the previous agreements they had in place.

Liz Kidd, CNA President & CEO, says the MOU is about building partnerships and the sharing of resources to support one other in achieving the best results. Aligning with each other’s vision and commitment to communities throughout the province will also be achieved with the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in mind.
Sandra Whiffen, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity, provided Liz Kidd, CNA President & CEO, with a tour of the ReStore operation in St. John’s – a non-profit home improvement retail social enterprise. Here, they speak with a long-time volunteer.

“We are elated to help Habitat for Humanity build their capacity with the truly amazing work they do. We are also confident this collaboration will provide opportunities for students and alumni to participate in work-integrated learning placements, skills enhancement, development and delivery of unique education and training, and summer employment. It is also heart-warming to know that we will be helping families achieve their dreams of owning a home. We are pleased that CNA can support this important humanitarian work throughout the province.”

One of the hallmark functions of the organization is affordable housing construction for low income working families. With the help of volunteers, community organizations, donors and Habitat homeowners, the not-for-profit organization helps build and rehabilitate safe, decent, and affordable homes.  

This new agreement with CNA aims to support and continue to expand Habitat construction projects and services to other parts of the province. Habitat for Humanity NL operates a social enterprise called ReStore – a non-profit home improvement retail site located in St. John’s, where donations are accepted of quality new and used building materials, furniture, appliances and other goods from individuals and businesses for resale. All proceeds supports Habitat for Humanity builds in NL.
Sandra Whiffen, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity, and Liz Kidd, CNA President & CEO, signed a three-year MOU between the two organizations at the ReStore in St. John’s today. The agreement allows for an exchange of human and technical resources from CNA to support Habitat for Humanity in their building projects for working families in need.

Sandra Whiffen, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity, says the need for affordable housing is more prevalent now than ever in NL. To be able to avail of CNA’s human resources, who possess a variety of technical skillsets, will be a direct benefit to the success of Habitat for Humanity’s work. 

“We are very grateful for this continued partnership to support our vision where everyone has a decent and affordable place to live,” she said. “We are also happy to support CNA and provide their students and alumni with volunteer experiences and help prepare them for employment. The fact that we can avail of the many different program disciplines and technical abilities from CNA throughout the province is certainly welcomed and beneficial for all involved in these projects.”

The previous agreement primarily used the skills of those involved with Industrial Trades, Architectural Engineering Technology, and Graphic Design programs to name a few. The current agreement sees both organizations tap into other CNA programs and technical knowledge from students, graduates and instructors from the college’s other schools of study, as well as with applied research and Customized and Continuous Learning opportunities. Therefore, CNA teams can take the builds from the planning and design stages to the use of materials and construction, while also assisting with community events and fundraising activities. Combined, it means Habitat for Humanity will receive much-needed help to further its presence throughout the province, and CNA’s students and graduates will have an enhanced experiential and learning experience.

The MOU document was signed at the ReStore outlet at 323 Kenmount Road in St. John’s on Wednesday, March 30.

For more information about programs at CNA, visit

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit:, and the Restore can be found here.
Media contacts:

Michelle Barry
Communications Manager
College of the North Atlantic

Sandra Whiffen
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity – NL