Habitat for Humanity helps four families into new homes

Four Ottawa families became homeowners today thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

The newly created Leaside Landing development was unveiled to the public Thursday, as the organization celebrated its four new homeowners. 

Thereza Fitzsimmons will be moving into one of the homes with her three children. A single mom, Fitzsimmons says owning a home was always a dream she thought was out of reach. 

"It's going to be life changing," she said. "It's a new chapter."

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Ottawa Region provides families making between $46,000 and $69,000 the opportunity to become homeowners without taking on debt or spending large sums of money on a down payment. The families, who are hand selected by the organization, must give up to 500 hours of volunteer service and pay back an interest-free mortgage that has been suited to their income level. 

"We are ready to move in and once we move in, it will be feasible for us to maintain and keep it on our own," she said. 

The Leaside Landing development just off Jeanne D'Arc Blvd will have 16 affordable housing units by the end of 2019. Four more units are expected to open by the end of this year. 

Pablao Bustamante, his wife and young son are among the occupants of Phase II.

"We work very hard, but it's not easy," the Colombian immigrant said. "It's very expensive. The down payment and everything." 

Habitat GO has provided homes for 72 Ottawa area families since it launched in 1993.