As Real Estate agents, our whole career is built on helping people find housing - but there are more creative options than you might think. I have to agree with our Canadian government’s plan to fund the Housing First initiative - everyone deserves housing. And I love that, as Real Estate professionals, we also have a role in helping people.
I’ll never forget the day I was a part of a delegation who delivered a check to a Woman's Shelter. The Manitoba Real Estate Association Shelter Foundation, of which I am proud to be one of its Builders has helped countless organizations from the homeless, new to Canada as well as those that support addictions and elder abuse.
Another support started by the real estate industry of which I had the priviledge to be on the founding committee is HOP, Housing Opportunities Partnership. HOP had helped many families get into a home that they otherwise would never have, now able to realize the home ownership experience.
Getting back to the cheque I was part of delivering, one young woman to the surprise of us all had a speech written down to deliver to us. She pulled out an extra-long piece of paper and began to read. She spoke of her addiction she suffered, the abuse from a boyfirend, the shunning of her family who refused to speak to her and she went to this shelter "for one month:" that turned out to be a full year and now clean of her addiction, went on to say how she now has a great boyfriend with no abuse, her family speaking to her again and she even bought her own condo.
As she read her story, tears of gratitude streaked her face. All of us as well began to sniffle including the Shelter Manager....it was a very special moment we all shared. I am deeply glad to have been part of that beautiful moment.
The Manitoba Real Estate Association Shelter Foundation and HOP are only two of several programs the real estate industry that help people. Whether they are new immigrants, those suffering from an addictIon, or dealing with abuse, blows to their health or finances, there are programs to help.
And these are exactly the kinds of things REALTORS® should know to serve our clients well.
While it’s not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the local housing programs available. Let your clients, friends, and family know – it could be just the creative solution they’ve been looking for!
The Manitoba Real Estate Shelter Foundation
Manitoba REALTORS® recognize that shelter is a vital component of our communities and understand that structured fundraising and philanthropy are beneficial to community development. Therefore, the Manitoba Real Estate Association Shelter Foundation Inc. was created to support Manitoba charities that are devoted to shelter-related causes.
HOP (Housing Opportunity Partnership)
For those who qualify (first time home buyers with a family income of $64,606 or less, who qualify for a mortgage), this program assists with the 5% down payment and closing costs.
North End Housing Project
Focusing on renewing North End neighborhoods, the North End Housing Project develops “accessible, affordable, quality and sustainable housing”
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity assists low-income families in acquiring housing. Recipients of assistance partner with HFH to build or renovate their home, and must be able to qualify for a mortgage.
This video shows another creative way REALTORS® are getting involved, helping people find shelter.
What other programs and organizations would you add to this list?