Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Oct. 26


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney




(Updated 11:30 a.m., Dec. 19)
Four families get early Christmas present from Habitat for Humanity
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The El Bayadi family celebrates receiving the keys to their Habitat for Humanity home on Nantes Drive. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Four families have a lot to celebrate this holiday season after receiving the keys to their new Habitat for Humanity homes on Wednesday.

Each of the families received their Habitat for Humanity homes on Nantes Drive in Avalon during a key presentation ceremony attended by the organizations sponsors and some of the dozens of volunteers who helped build them.

All four families were extremely grateful for the opportunity to become new homeowners.

The El Bayadi family immigrated to Canada from Morocco in 2008. They lived in a series of apartments over the past six years, the most recent of which was on St. Joseph Blvd.

Financially unable to secure a mortgage on their own, Abdelkrim and Nadia El Bayadi applied for a Habitat for Humanity home after their one of their neighbours qualified for one of the Nantes Drive homes last spring.

Under the Habitat for Humanity program, potential recipients must meet several criteria, among them the ability to pay a predetermined interest free mortgage. They must also invest a minimum of 500 hours into the construction of their home as a downpayment.

Many recipient homeowners spend hundreds of hours working on other Habitat projects long after they move into their new homes.

For now, the El Bayadis are focused on turning their new house into a home. They still have to move their furnishings and other belongings. About the only thing they have determined is who gets what bedroom.

"I wanted the bigger bedroom but I lost rock, paper, scissors to my brother," said nine-year-old Youseff, who is thrilled to be living just down the street from his new school. His older brother Hicham goes to Louis-Riel.

Abdelkrim, who was a financial controller in Morocco, currently works at Cité collégiale while Nadia teaches French at a private school in Ottawa.

Johanne and Louis Leduc are also extremely grateful to finally own their own home, as is there 16-year-old son Carlo. In order to fulfill their volunteer hours commitment they have worked in Habitat's ReStore as well as on a number of other fundraising initiatives, not to mention their Habitat home.

The other two homes have been mortgaged to the Muse-Mohamud family and the Ahmed familiy.

Abdirizak and Sadia Muse-Mohamud immigrated to Canada from Somalia 20 years ago. They now have six children between the ages of six and 18.

Abdirizak works as a custodian for the Ottawa Catholic while Sadia is a busy stay at home mom. Up until now they lived in a four bedroom rent to income townhouse.

The couple is hopeful that by realizing the dream of owning their own home in a safe suburban neighbourhood. PPrior to receiving the keys to their new home they lived in subsidized housing in an Ottawa neighbourhood where the kids were at risk of being inolved or victimized by criminal activity.

Research shows that the safety and security afforded by a safe, affordable home is a major contributor to long-term life success, especially for children of Habitat families.

The Ahmed family also lived in subsidized housing. After first fleeing from their native Somalia to Kenya, they immigrated to Canada in 1997. They lived in Halifax for two years before moving to Ottawa. Mohamed Ahmed was an industrial engineer in Somalia. He now works as a commissionaire for the federal government while his wife Zahra takes care of their six children at home.

The four new families join three families who moved into their Nantes Drive homes in 2013. Habitat still plans to build another duplex on the site for two more deserving families.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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