PCL Employees Set to Build New Life for Two Niagara Region Families

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Toronto – Buildings & Civil Construction

Toronto, ON (Tuesday, March 5, 2013) – PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto) is pleased to announce the exclusive home sponsorship of an upcoming Habitat for Humanity Niagara build -- a two-unit semi-detached home, located in St. Catharines, Ontario in an area slated as part of the City’s Community Improvement Plan. 
“PCL is committed to creating strong and sustainable communities, especially where our employees work and live,” said PCL Toronto executive vice president Chris Gower. “This partnership with Habitat for Humanity is a natural extension of our values.”
In addition to the $100,000 home sponsorship donation, PCL is donating general contracting services, and the homes will be built almost entirely by PCL employee volunteers and through the generous support of labour and materials from PCL’s subtrade community.
PCL Toronto has a rich tradition of employee volunteerism through an internal program called Building Community. Since the program launched in 2007, PCL Toronto employees have contributed more than 7,754 hours to improving local community organizations, in addition to the new staff residence volunteer build at the CNIB’s Lake Joe camp in 2011.
“It’s a tremendous partnership,” commented Habitat for Humanity CEO Alastair Davis. “This is a chance for a community-minded company like PCL to get involved in an effort that is making a tangible difference, one that is changing lives and communities. We are thrilled to have PCL as our home sponsor, bringing their construction expertise and partners together to build homes for two deserving families.”
PCL will build the house using permanent modular construction​​ techniques. The plan includes 14 modules (four to form the ground floor, six for the second level, and four for the roof), which will be built by volunteers in PCL’s Modular Construction Facility in Mississauga, all while excavation and foundation work takes place in St. Catharines. The modules will then be trucked to the site, where more volunteers will work on seaming the wall and floor joints, exterior siding, flooring, painting, finishes, and landscaping. Designed to be low maintenance, high comfort homes, both units will be constructed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Silver rating, as defined by The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
Two Niagara families will become the new owners of the homes. As part of Habitat’s unique homeownership program, the Aden and Melnyk families will purchase the homes and repay a no-interest, no-down-payment mortgage that is geared to their incomes. “It is amazing – a dream that is finally coming true for our whole family. We would not be able to own a home if it wasn’t for Habitat for Humanity,” said Abdiaziz Aden. Additionally, the families will each volunteer 500 hours in their community as part of Habitat’s Sweat Equity requirement. “We truly feel blessed to have been one of the families chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Sonia Melnyk. “I have tried to make a home out of our current residence, but have run into obstacles along the way. I continue to try and instill in my children that in any circumstance you can find the positive and keep smiling.”
PCL Toronto’s sponsorship is part of a larger two-year, $1 million commitment on behalf of the PCL family of companies, which began in June 2011, to support more than 20 Habitat home builds throughout the United States and Canada.

About PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. A strategic presence in 31 major centers support these diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets. The Toronto office is PCL’s largest district with more than 600 of the construction industry’s most-talented professionals and an annual construction volume of more than $1.6 billion. For more information, visit PCL.com.

About Habitat for Humanity Niagara

Poor living conditions and housing insecurity are what Canada’s most vulnerable families must deal with every day, and spending a large portion of household income on rent means that there is little hope of saving for a better future, to upgrade skills, or for children’s education. Families in poor living conditions are more likely to be reliant on health care and other social services, meaning that everyone is affected by the lack of safe, decent and affordable housing. Habitat offers a solution. Habitat for Humanity Niagara provides low-income families with access to affordable homeownership. By owning their home, families are able to achieve greater stability and health, while building equity and breaking the cycle of poverty. Partner families are involved in the building of their home from start to finish, volunteering 500 hours of “sweat equity” with Habitat. Once their home is complete, families pay back its fair market value through monthly mortgage payments. A Habitat home is a “hand up” in that no down payment is required, mortgages are interest-free, and payments are geared to income. As a partner family pays off their mortgage, the funds are used by their local Habitat affiliate to build more homes for more low-income families in the community. That means that an investment in Habitat doesn’t help one, but many families improve their shelter conditions. Established locally in 1993, Habitat has constructed 38 homes in Niagara. They are a member of Habitat for Humanity Canada, part of a worldwide network that spans close to 80 countries and has built or repaired over 600,000 homes, and serves another family every 5.5 minutes.

About the Aden Family

Abdiaziz Aden and his wife, Bilad Warsame, are parents to four energetic sons and a young daughter ranging in age from two to eight years old. The family, originally from Somalia, made their way through the U.S. to Canada, where they were granted permanent residence. Abdiaziz and Bilad work as team, giving strength to each other with a common focus in supporting their children to grow up healthy and happy with access to a good education. They see the effects of living in public housing on other children and families and desperately want to remove their family from these living conditions. All five children suffer with asthma, which their doctor has credited to the housing environment. The boys’ interests range from sports – primarily hockey and soccer – to playing computer games. The entire family is looking forward to having their dream of owning a home come true.

About the Melnyk Family

Sonia Melnyk is the single mother of two children, her son Josh (11) and her daughter Reese (five). The family currently lives in a very small apartment on a busy street in St Catharines. Both children are engaged and active, enjoying the various sports opportunities offered through the YMCA. Musically inclined, Josh plays the guitar with a passion for old Rock and Roll while Reese inherited her grandmother’s love and talent for art – and her mother’s love of gardening.
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Nelson
Communications Specialist
PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto)
Karen Dolyniuk, CFRE
Chief Development Officer
Habitat for Humanity Niagara

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