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Board of Directors Announcement of CEO Departure

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa, we are announcing that Alexis Ashworth will be stepping down from the role of Chief Executive Officer effective September 10, 2021.  Over the past seven years, Alexis has led a growing organization and has  created a culture of collaboration and innovation at Habitat Greater Ottawa as well as with our broader community stakeholders. 

Alexis’ guidance, vision and drive has consistently inspired our team to push the boundaries and exceed our ambitious goals. During Alexis’ time as CEO, she has made extraordinary contributions to Habitat Greater Ottawa, including:  

  • Shifted the organization from a builder of single-family homes to a developer of communities 
  • Increased the number of families we serve from two families to eight families per year 
  • Established significant government funding relationships, including a surplus federal land acquisition valued at $870K for our current buildTitus Landing at Wateridge Village 
  • Partnered with Tungassuvingat Inuit, an Inuit-specific urban service provider that offers community support for all ages, to launch Habitat Greater Ottawa’s Youth Indigenous Build Program 
  • Expanded the Habitat Greater Ottawa territory and collaborated with Algonquin College to build a home in Perth 
  • Managed our staff team during the pandemic and supported the team through various transitions including implementing work from home policies and an office move 
  • Saw nine families housed during the pandemic and established a partnership with Habitat Thousand Islands to collaborate on a 15-unit development in North Grenville 

Alexis has led Habitat for Humanity affiliates for eleven years in Ottawa and Halifax and participated in Global Village builds in El Salvador and Ethiopia. Alexis shared: “Habitat will always hold a special place in my heart.  We have a strong and passionate staff team at Habitat, people who love the organization and believe in the mission as much as I do. I am forever grateful to them for keeping me inspired all these years, particularly in the past 14 months. Habitat is in good hands and the organization is well-positioned to help more and more families on the path to homeownership in the coming years.” 

The Habitat Greater Ottawa Board of Directors has named a committee to conduct a comprehensive search for the next Chief Executive Officer to be carried out over the coming months. The job posting can be found here. We ask our supporters to help identify any qualified individuals for this position.  

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alexis for her outstanding dedication and leadership of the organization,” said Gavin Liddy, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Alexis is a true visionary and leaves Habitat Greater Ottawa in a very strong position to continue to grow the number of homes we build and families we servePlease join us in thanking Alexis for her contributions and in wishing her success in her future endeavours.” 

If you have any questions concerning this transition, please do not hesitate to contact Habitat Greater Ottawa’s Director of Operations and Communications, Kristen Holinsky at kholinsky@habitatgo.com 

Sincerely,  

Gavin Liddy                                    Soley Soucie 
Chair, Board of Directors              Chair, Human Resources Committee 

Habitat Greater Ottawa COVID-19 Update

EFFECTIVE: April 8, 2021

Dear valued Habitat Greater Ottawa supporters,

As we try to navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19, we want you to know that we are taking all the necessary precautions to keep our staff, customers, volunteers and homeowners protected. Safety is our top priority and we take this outbreak seriously.

Following Ottawa Public Health’s recommendations, Habitat Greater Ottawa is taking the following measures to help manage any potential risks associated with this outbreak

OFFICE:
As of March 16, 2020 the Habitat Greater Ottawa office closed until further notice. Staff are being supported to work remotely and will remain available via email during this time. 

VOLUNTEERS: 
We are currently not accepting any new ReStore or Build volunteers. All office volunteer openings will be done remotely. You are welcome to complete a volunteer application in the meantime, and we will get in touch once volunteer services have resumed. Check back for updates. Thank you for your understanding. 

BUILD SITE: 
In order to keep our operations moving forward to provide families with safe, stable and affordable housing, our Leacross Landing and Titus Landing build sites remains open. All staff and current homeowners have been asked to practice social distancing, self-isolation and safe hygienic practices as warranted in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Public Health guidelines found HERE.

RESTORE:
In compliance with the provincial government, effective April 8, 2021 our two ReStore locations at 768 Belfast Road and 3 Iber Road will be operating with curbside pickup services only. Our online ReStore will continue to be available to you anytime at restoregoshop.ca Please note that all public donations drop offs and pickup services are suspended until further notice. 

We continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and will update you should there be any changes and when we re-open.

Habitat Greater Ottawa could not provide the services that we do without your support of our ReStores. We thank our valuable customers, donors, staff and volunteers for your contributions and look forward to continuing to serve the Ottawa community as soon as it is safe to do so.

EVENTS:
All third party events have been cancelled or moved online until further notice. Please subscribe to our Newsletter to stay up to date on Habitat Greater Ottawa build updates, news and online events. 

Five Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa families celebrate (virtually) having a new safe and affordable place to call home

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE – PLEASE CONTACT TO SCHEDULE

When: Video release August 20, 2020
Interviews available week of August 24, 2020.

Where: On all Habitat Greater Ottawa social media platforms

Ottawa, ON (August 20, 2020) – Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa is thrilled to (virtually) celebrate the completion of five townhomes in Orléans. The dedication of these homes brings Habitat Greater Ottawa‘s Leacross Landing build, a 16-unit townhome development in the city’s east end close to completion, with the final four homes to be built by the end of the year.

Like many public events around the City of Ottawa, COVID-19 disrupted plans to celebrate with Habitat families in person. In place of its usual celebratory dedication ceremony including the passing of the keys to the families, Habitat Greater Ottawa will instead release a Virtual Key Ceremony video welcoming its newest Habitat homeowners. The video features interviews with the new Habitat homeowners as well as Habitat Greater Ottawa staff, volunteers and dignitaries such as City of Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson and Ottawa City Councillor for Orléans Ward, Matthew Luloff.

Click here for an exclusive preview of Habitat Greater Ottawa’s 2020 Virtual Key Ceremony.

“COVID-19 has shown us the critical need for safe and affordable housing here in Ottawa,” says Alexis Ashworth CEO, Habitat Greater Ottawa. “For many families in Ottawa, ‘sheltering in place’ is a difficult reality as they are living in unsafe or inadequate housing. By continuing to increase the number of homes Habitat builds, more local families will have access to safe, stable and affordable housing.”

“As Mayor of the City of Ottawa, I want to congratulate all the families that will be receiving the keys to their new home through Habitat Greater Ottawa at the virtual key ceremony,” says Mayor Jim Watson. “Now more than ever, as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the benefits of living in a safe, affordable home are exponentially higher. It’s thanks to a strong partnership between the City and Habitat Greater Ottawa that individuals and families can become strong, stable and self-reliant through affordable home ownership.”

“Happy, healthy and safe communities start at home,” says Matthew Luloff, Ottawa City Councillor for Orléans Ward. “Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa makes an invaluable contribution to housing in our City by providing families with safe and affordable homes. Orléans is a place for everyone. I am so happy to be able to welcome five additional families to our community. I know these families will enjoy a lifetime of friendships and memories here.”

Hear from a few of our new Habitat homeowners:

“My family is so overjoyed at the opportunity to own our home,” says Said Naya, Habitat Homeowner. “My boys are so excited; they ask me every day when we are going to move into the new house! We can’t wait to feel safe when we are at home. I want a place where my children have room to play their sports and I want a place that we can proudly call our own.”

“I look forward to freeing myself from the stress that comes with living in our current neighborhood and all the maintenance problems in our home,” says Fadumo Ahmed, Habitat Homeowner. “Working with Habitat for Humanity will allow us to take control of our home and our lives. I am excited to work hard for a positive change and a fresh start for my family.”

“In the end, it all comes down to my son who is the most important person in the world to me,” says Isabelle McAusland, Habitat Homeowner. “I want him to have that feeling of growing up in a safe neighbourhood and the love of community where he can go out and play with friends and not have to worry about whether or not he’ll have a stable place to live.”

Full family profiles and photos are available at www.habitatgo.ca.

Habitat Greater Ottawa could not build without the support of the community, volunteers and sponsors. Thank you to the Leacross Foundation, City of Ottawa, Red Roof Foundation, Urbandale Corporation and Exit Realty for their generous sponsorship of this development. 

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For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Kristen Holinsky

Director of Operations and Communications

Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa

kholinsky@habitatgo.com

 

About us:

With the help of local Habitat families, donors, community partners and volunteers, Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa builds affordable homes that provide a solid foundation for local families.

Habitat Greater Ottawa’s homeownership program offers more than just housing; it sets families up to be successful homeowners who are invested in their homes and in their community. The benefits of owning a long-term stable Habitat home are many. They include reduced reliance on social housing and food banks, better educational, financial and employment outcomes and improved health and overall wellbeing for families.

With over 55,000 Ottawa households living on low income, and with a 5-year average wait time to access social housing in our city, the need for affordable housing is only growing. Over the past three years, Habitat Greater Ottawa has transitioned from a builder of single-family homes to a developer of communities. By increasing the number of homes we build, we can provide more families with the opportunity to thrive.