S: EDEL 435 Current Events Scrapbook
1: Our Homeownership Program Homeownership Made Possible for Hardworking Low-Income Families Habitat for Humanity best achieves its mission through its Homeownership Program which helps individuals and families in financially vulnerable situations build and buy quality affordable homes by reducing barriers to homeownership. Barriers to homeownership are reduced by selling Habitat for Humanity homes with: No downpayment No-interest mortgages Payments set at 30% of gross income or less (including principal, property tax and insurances), and Homeowner training and support services This program gives families access to affordable housing while helping them build equity for the future, and as recipients of community support in helping them help themselves to escape the cycle of poverty and poverty housing, they are grateful for that support and are eager to contribute back to their own community and repay this by way of thanks.
2: How We Help Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Because Every Hardworking Canadian Has the Right to a Home They Can Afford At Habitat, we believe in making affordable housing accessible to working families who earn less than the low-income cut-off. And here is how we make that possible for the families you help: Habitat for Humanity builds homes using volunteer labour and donated materials. Homes are sold to partner families with no monetary down payment required. However, they must contribute "sweat equity” in the form of 500 volunteer hours. Families receive an affordable and sustainable no-interest mortgage, with monthly payments based on 25% to 30% of the family's monthly income. A Habitat home helps families avoid making impossible choices between rent and other basic necessities. A mortgage they can afford allows our partner families to provide other family needs, such as childcare, transportation, groceries, education, school supplies, medical and dental expenses, clothing, furniture, and more. Plus, partner families' monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund, which is used to build more homes.
3: Hardworking Families Caught in a Vicious Cycle of Poverty Making Impossible Choices Between Paying the Rent or Their Utilities, and Having Shelter or Buying Food Thanks to your donations and volunteer support, Habitat for Humanity is able to help people living below the poverty line in financially vulnerable situations, who are able to repay an interest-free mortgage and qualify to become a partner family with Habitat for Humanity. The hardworking families that you support through Habitat for Humanity are caught in a vicious cycle of making ‘too much' at low-paying jobs to take advantage of assistance programs, such as subsidized housing. But they make ‘too little' to provide all their family needs. Many are forced to make impossible choices – providing shelter or having food, and paying rent or utility bills.
4: In 1985 the movement spread to Canada with the formation of the first Canadian affiliate in Winkler, Manitoba. From these simple beginnings the Habitat for Humanity movement in Canada has grown to 72 affiliates in 10 provinces and two territories and has been successful in placing more than 1,400 families into new homes. Habitat for Humanity now spans over 90 countries and is responsible for placing over 225,000 families into new homes around the world. | Habitat for Humanity’s work in Canada
5: Global News: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 St Albert’s residents debate having a Habitat for Humanity complex their city St. Albert residents once again packed council chambers for the latest round of debate over the Akinsdale Habitat for Humanity project on Monday night. Despite countless opposing views, and even a pending lawsuit by some residents vowing to stop the project, council's vote on Monday night brought the proposed development a bit closer to reality. The size of the development was once again scaled back, from 30 units to 24 units, meaning the matter will again have to go before a public hearing. It's a small victory for residents complaining about the size of the original proposed development, but Habitat for Humanity is not happy. "We're primarily disappointed for the fewer amount of families we'll be able to help." Alfred Nikolai of Habitat for Humanity said on Monday. "Habitat is a charity, and we're all about helping families and we brought a proposal to help thirty families, and council decided they would approve twenty four." The matter looms as a key election issue in St. Albert, ahead of next month's civic vote.
6: Edmonton Global News: Thursday, September 30, 2010 Habitat for Humanity in St Albert St. Albert city council has approved a thirty home Habitat for Humanity development in the Akinsdale neighbourhood. The decision came at a council meeting on Wednesday night. -“We thank St. Albert City Council for its vision in supporting this project. We are committed to working with the community at large to make this project an outstanding example of friendship and respect built on a solid foundation of volunteerism,” said Susan Green, Board Chair, HFHE in a news release. “Decisions of this type are not easy to make and we appreciate that St. Albert has again welcomed Habitat into its community and made affordable housing a reality for 30 families.” -The development has been a controversial one in the community. The original proposal by Habitat for Humanity called for a 58 unit development, but after protests from residents the plan was scaled back to just 24 units last Tuesday. Habitat appealed the decision, saying a development that small isn't viable. -Residents in the neighbourhood where the development is slated to be built are still unhappy and with a civic election looming in October, some are saying they'll be taking the issue into consideration before they cast their ballots. -"Rather than letting the voters have their say, they just rammed it through before anyone could say otherwise." neighbour Randy Hughes said Thursday. "They wouldn't accept any input from the public. -In order to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home, families must show that they are working and making between $32,000 and $54,000 annually, which means they cannot purchase a conventional mortgage. They must also put 500 hours of sweat equity to build their homes.
8: Controversial Letter From Chris & Karleena Perry, St. Albert Homeowners Saturday, Apr 03, 2010 06:00 am In the past few months it has become apparent to the people of St. Albert that a proposed project by Habitat for Humanity has been planned for an area of Akinsdale. At first word of this my wife and I had no comment as we believed this would not affect us, but as time wears on we have come to realize that this is an issue that will affect all St. Albert residents. My family and I are homeowners in a new development in Kingswood. We moved our family and business to St. Albert so our children could have what we believed would be a better upbringing. The list of amenities made the decision easy; some examples are good schools and programs (not so crowded), low crime, a higher standard of living, great recreational possibilities and numerous other aspects. Every example owes itself to one major factor: high or above-average income. The average family income for St. Albert is higher than in Edmonton or any other area municipality. We moved to St. Albert because we can afford it and we deserve it. This is a great city with great families. We feel comfortable joining in activities we would not have considered in Edmonton.
9: This development is a bad idea for St. Albert for both current residents and the people who will occupy the new development. Current residents will have to deal with the likeliness of children influenced by crime in our schools and adults in our community. Our cost of living will increase as we will have to pay for low-income subsidies due to higher school fees or other taxes. We won’t feel comfortable taking our kids to activities like movie night in the park or other St. Albert events for fear that there will be unruly families. We can assure each other that measures will be taken to prevent this influence, but that’s not what we want. We don’t want a police presence at family outings. We don’t want to worry about drugs at elementary schools or gang fights at the high schools. We don’t want to worry about people speeding, possibly hitting our kids, or having to increase our police force. What we want is for St. Albert to remain as it is with very few low-income households, a place for families that work hard to live here. You can say we will screen to make sure those families won’t make the cut, but there is no level of pre-screening that will prevent some form of crime from infiltrating the proposed development. It will happen, guaranteed. This will start a landslide of things that will turn southeast St. Albert into a low-income area instead of middle class. Low-income families will have difficulty up-keeping the proposed development, and in turn it will bring down the value of the surrounding houses. This sounds unjustified; look at some of the Habitat for Humanity developments in Edmonton where this has already occurred. This development will be hard for the families moving in. Being low income will make it difficult for children to be accepted in local schools. Like it or not, the children of St. Albert are high-standard children and have no place for low-income classmates. When we first moved to St. Albert our teen had a hard time fitting in because of money and it was hard on him. Now he is good, but it did not go away with just a loving hug — his status was accomplished once his friends saw our house and other possessions. It sounds cruel but that is how it is; ask your children, they will tell you. Sports activities in St. Albert are another problem area. Sure the base costs are the same as other areas, but the teams here expect more financially from families. In Edmonton there are recreational activities at the YMCA; there are no subsidies for families in St. Albert, nor do we want to pay for it. Our family membership to Servus Place is $1,300 a year plus costs for Fountain Park and other activities, but we can afford it. Putting low-income families in this situation is not reasonable or fair — it would be like giving a new car to someone that can’t afford the gas. They would be better off with a bus pass. I am all for low-income housing in Edmonton. I believe more independent living housing is required in St. Albert and would be better suited than this proposal.
10: Opposing Perry
11: Perry’s Apology Global News: Monday, April 5, 2010 Chris Perry apologized on Monday after his letter to St. Albert city council regarding the Habitat for Humanity development in Akinsdale created controversy and made headlines. "We moved to St. Albert because we can afford it and we deserve it." Perry wrote in the letter, which was published to the St. Albert Gazette. He went on to say "What we want is for St. Albert to remain as it is with very few low-income households, a place for families that work hard to live here." While the Akinsdale development had been the centre of much debate, most of it had focused on the size of the project rather than the future residents. For the president of Habitat for Humanity the letter is discouraging. "I am totally shocked and surprised that I would hear from that community that 'we don't want those types of people', working class families, living in that community." Alfred Nikolai told Global News on Sunday. The letter has sparked outrage from the community with words like 'disgusting' and 'bigot' being used to describe Perry. Many residents responding to the letter say they'll be making donations to Habitat for Humanity in Perry's name. Perry says he still opposes the development, but feels like he could have found a better way to express it.
12: Rationale: The current events issue that I want the students to focus on is whether or not Habitat for Humanity should be allowed to build low-income housing structures in St. Albert, Alberta. St. Albert is a well-known community recognized for middle-high income families and elite recreational services. The issue presented is one of social concern. Some of the issues that the students will explore are: Is it in the better interest of low-income families to live in a community that requires high income to enjoy the community’s perks? Will low-income housing structures devalue homes in the Akinsdale area of St. Albert? Is it fair to restrict areas that Habitat for Humanity can build housing structures. The grade six students will cover a variety of outcomes and skills from the Social Studies Program of Studies under General Outcome 6.1: Citizens Participating in Decision Making, such as:
13: 6.1.6 analyze how individuals, groups and associations within a community impact decision making of local and provincial governments by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions and issues: How can individuals, groups and associations within a community participate in the decision-making process regarding current events or issues (i.e., lobbying, petitioning, organizing and attending local meetings and rallies, contacting elected representatives)? (C, PADM) 6.S.1 develop skills of critical thinking and creative thinking: assess significant local and current affairs from a variety of sources, with a focus on examining bias and distinguishing fact from opinion critically evaluate ideas, information and positions re-evaluate personal opinions to broaden understanding of a topic or an issue generate original ideas and strategies in individual and group activities 6.S.4. demonstrate skills of decision making and problem solving: propose and apply new ideas, strategies and options, supported with facts and reasons, to contribute to decision making and problem solving consider multiple perspectives when dealing with issues, decision making and problem solving collaborate with others to devise strategies for dealing with problems and issues use data gathered from a variety of electronic sources to address identified problems solve issue-related problems, using such communication tools as a word processor or e-mail to involve others in the process | SOCIAL PARTICIPATION AS A DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE Students will: 6.S.5 demonstrate skills of cooperation, conflict resolution and consensus building: demonstrate the skills of compromise to reach group consensus work collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal 6.S.6 develop age-appropriate behaviour for social involvement as responsible citizens contributing to their community, such as: demonstrate commitment to the well-being of their community by drawing attention to situations of injustice where action is needed COMMUNICATION Students will: 6.S.8 demonstrate skills of oral, written and visual literacy: express opinions and present perspectives and information in a variety of forms such as oral or written presentations, speeches or debates express reasons for their ideas and opinions, in oral or written form use skills of informal debate to persuasively express differing viewpoints regarding an issue respond appropriately to comments and questions, using language respectful of human diversity listen to others to understand their perspectives
14: Activity: Students will be presented with the information in the current events scrapbook individually. Using a U-Shaped Discussion Sheet the students will formulate individual opinions regarding whether or not they think low-income housing structures should be built in St. Albert. Once all the students have formed their individual opinions, I will have them stand on a U-shaped line taped onto the floor. Their standing point on the line will indicate whether they are strongly for, strongly against, or equally for and against the issue. Using the natural groupings that form on the line, I will divide the students into groups of three-five and have them sort out the issue together and formulate a cohesive group opinions on the matter. Students will access the internet and print sources to research the issue and formulate an opinion. Using the following template and Google Docs students will create a group opinion paper. Students will present their opinion papers to the class in a discussion format, meaning that once all of the groups have presented their arguments, we will have a class discussion to congenially debate the issues that have risen. Students will be reminded to respect others’ opinions and use courteous language when addressing an opposing viewpoint. After the discussion, students will refer back to their U-Shaped Discussion Sheets and reflect upon whether or not their opinion has changed. The their U-Shaped Discussion Sheets and group opinion papers will be assessed by the teacher to ensure that the students have completed and understood the outcomes and skills involved in this activity.
15: Social Studies | Annotated Bibliography | Climenhaga, D. (April 14, 2010). Letter Virtually Gurantees Akinsdale Approval. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://mybirdie.ca/files/96252c2f9f034a6dc20e5fce49df98e7-10184.php David Climenhaga states that Perry’s letter will have the opposite effect of the intention and gather support for Habitat for Humanity. | Global News. (September 21, 2010). St. Albert Habitat for Humanity scaled back again. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/Albert+Habitat+Humanity+scaled+back+again/3557158/story.html This article discusses a meeting in council chambers when the citizens successfully scaled back the size of the Habitat for Humanity development from thirty units to twenty-four. | Google Docs. Accessed on October 2, 2010 from https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=writely&passive=1209600&continue=http://docs.google.com/&followup=http://docs.google.com/<mpl=homepage Google Docs will allow students to create a document together using their own opinions and an internet source.
16: Annotated Bibliography continued | Google Images. Pictures. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://www.google.ca/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi Images gathered from Google will assist students in understanding the variety of people involved in Habitat for Humanity and supply them with a visual representation of the proceedings. | Habitat for Humanity Homepage. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://habitat.ca/abouthabitatc1.php This website supplies information regarding the purpose and intentions of Habitat for Humanity as well as describes the types of families that receive support. | Mulcahy, K. (April 5, 2010). St. Albert man 'sorry' for letter. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/Albert+sorry+letter/2765752/story.html Chris Perry apologizes for his letter, but remains set in his opinion that developments for Habitat for Humanity should not occur in St. Albert. | Mulcahy, K. (September 30, 2010). St. Albert approves 30 unit Habitat development. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/Albert+approves+Habitat+development/3604940/story.html This article describes the variety of opinions regarding citizens’ feelings towards the building of the housing structures and mentions the upcoming civic election. | St. Albert Gazette. (April 3, 2010). Higher-earning families part of St. Albert's appeal. Accessed on October 1, 2010 from http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20100403/SAG0904/304039974/-1/SAG09/higher-earning-families-part-of-st-alberts-appeals Chris and Karleena Perry’s letter stating that low-income housing should not be built in St. Albert because it is an elite, high-income community.