Building Futures program kicks off with Habitat’s 25th anniversary multi-build
Monday, April 30th was the first day on Habitat Niagara’s construction site for ten Indigenous students who were building as part of the Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB) Building Futures program.
This year is Habitat Niagara’s largest build to date, constructing five homes simultaneously to celebrate its 25th anniversary. A relationship was formed with Habitat Niagara and NPAAMB and the federal government is contributing $5,791,003 to provide experiential skills training in building and construction trades for urban Indigenous youth (ages 18 to 30) in southern Ontario. The students will be building 15 Habitat homes over the next three years, and will be constructing homes on Afton Avenue in Welland this year.
“This is exciting, and a good opportunity for us to help some families,” said Hanna, student of the Building Futures program. “Learning how to use the equipment correctly, and understanding what to listen for lets us know if the tools hit the wood properly.”
The students began their training at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Grimsby where they used the in-house Innovation Centre to learn how to use the tools for the build, they also received First Aid, CPR, Working at Heights and WHIMIS training.
During their first day onsite, the students wrapped the basement, screwed down the sub floor, made jigs for the windows, back framed, worked on load distribution, and put their principals of construction into action such as squaring up walls and doors.
“This opportunity will help them develop skills needed for their future,” explains Kirsty, Program Instructor with NPAAMB. “They’re also helping to support the community by building for Habitat for Humanity. We’re excited to see our students learn to do this.”
Craig Brown, Habitat Niagara’s Construction Manager, who is overseeing the NPAMB students while working on the Habitat builds explains how the partnership is key to Habitat Niagara’s first five-home multi-build project.
“The partnership with NPAAMB contributes to the overall success of our largest project ever, and the students are the boots on the ground actually building these homes,” said Craig.