Friday, April 07, 2006

Canada's First-Ever "House-In-A-Box"

Habitat for Humanity Canada and Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region launched Operation Home Delivery in Canada today during Ottawa's Winterlude Festival. The program is designed to provide appropriate and affordable housing solutions for communities in crisis caused by natural and manmade disasters in Canada and abroad.

Today's launch featured Canada's first-ever "House-in-a-Box" initiative. Volunteers built a pre-fabricated house that will be displayed in front of Ottawa City Hall over the weekend, and will then be packaged in a container truck and shipped to Louisiana for a family that lost its home due to Hurricane Katrina

Since the hurricanes struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, Habitat for Humanity Canada has received unprecedented support from individuals and organizations wanting to help families in crisis.

"The launch of Operation Home Delivery in Ottawa clearly demonstrates Canadians' strong desire to lend their support to those in need around the world and at home," said David Hughes, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "The first stage of the Operation Home Delivery program will see Canadians send houses, funds, volunteers and expertise in order to support the long-term rebuilding requirements of our neighbours in need."

Operation Home Delivery will provide support in a number of ways, including the "House-in-a-Box" initiative which provides prefabricated housing components for quick and easy assembly in the affected Gulf region, Global Village Teams which will send volunteers to the region to help with reconstruction efforts, and Team Canada Expert Missions which will provide Canadian expertise to those involved in rebuilding homes and revitalizing Habitat for Humanity affiliates within the region.

Habitat for Humanity Canada is partnering with the Thibodaux, Louisiana-based Bayou Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate, which serves the Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes just outside of New Orleans. In these two parishes 16,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Work in these regions will begin in April 2006.

Operation Home Delivery's most innovative program, "House-in-a-Box," will see volunteers and partners gather at various locations across North America to assemble the materials needed to build one or more houses. The houses will be pre-built over a few days and then tacked together to ensure a rock-solid fit. The house frames will then be taken apart and shipped with other construction materials in containers to the affected areas along the Gulf Coast, where families, volunteers and builders will reassemble the homes.

"Operation Home Delivery is set to change how aid, in the form of affordable housing, is delivered around the world and here at home," said David Hughes. "This program and the "House-in-a-Box" concept is a demonstration of Habitat for Humanity Canada's efforts to find innovative and cost effective methods for rebuilding devastated communities in crisis."

Individuals and corporate partners interested in donating to Habitat's efforts can call their toll free number at 1-800-667-5137. Habitat for Humanity Canada has also created a link on its Web site,, where donations can be made on-line. All monies designated for the Hurricane Katrina Response Fund will be utilized to support "Operation Home Delivery".


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