Family chosen for first Perth Habitat for Humanity home

Habitat for Humanity
Makhtar Tall, fourth from left, has been volunteering to help build Perth’s first Habitat for Humanity home. The five members of the Tall family will be moving into the house when it is completed, probably at the end of May. Photo submitted by Chris Hahn
Posted on: April 3, 2017

Chris Must
editorial@pdgmedia.ca

A family that has “fallen in love” with the Town of Perth is looking forward to moving into their new Habitat for Humanity home by the end of May.

The Tall family, now living in a cramped two-bedroom apartment in the east end of Ottawa, were chosen late last year to live in the first home to be built by the Perth chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Makhtar and Seynabou Tall and their three children, ages 11, 9, and 7, came to Canada from Senegal 10 years ago. Makhtar is working as the manager of a Dollarama store.

“He is so appreciative of the opportunity to own this particular home,” said Chris Hahn, dean of the Perth campus of Algonquin College.

In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, students in Algonquin’s construction carpentry – advanced housing program began building the house in September. With the roof and windows in place in time for Christmas, the remaining work on the house, located on Arthur Street in the Perth Works subdivision, is being completed indoors during the coldest months of the year.

The Perth Chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in May 2016. Algonquin building trades students have already built several homes in the subdivision as part of their curriculum. This is their 10th building project, and their first for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to build simple homes for low income families. In order to qualify for a home, the recipient family must have an income between $39,000 and $59,000 a year, and will be required to pay the mortgage – which will be interest free. The recipient family must have a stable environment but be unable to afford the house through a conventional mortgage.

“In lieu of a down payment the family is required to put in 500 hours of volunteer time, and a minimum of 75 of those hours have to be on-site,” said Allan Brown, chair of the Perth chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Makhtar Tall has been volunteering time on site, helping with shovelling and clean-up chores, and will probably put in more than the minimum of 75 hours of work on-site.

The value of the new house, which has been under construction since Sept. 8, will be about $250,000. It will be a two-storey, four-bedroom house with 1,585 feet of living space. The construction project has benefited from a great of support from the members of the Lanark Leeds Home Builders Association, who have donated both materials and labour.

“It’s a very well-built home, and it will be very efficient to operate in terms of heating and cooling,” said Hahn.

Brown said the process of selecting a family to move into the home is rigorous. “As a chapter we underestimated the time and the detail involved in the search process,” he said. Although there was interest in the home from local residents, none met the eligibility requirements.

“This is not the only house that we’re building in Perth,” Brown added. Because of the amount of work involved, the next building project is not expected to start until 2018, for completion in 2019.

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is actively seeking both volunteers and financial support.

Photo Caption: Makhtar Tall, fourth from left, has been volunteering to help build Perth’s first Habitat for Humanity home. The five members of the Tall family will be moving into the house when it is completed, probably at the end of May.
Photo Credit: Chris Hahn

First published in March edition of Hometown News.