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Meridian Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Build Affordable Tiny Homes to be Located on First Nations Land

Press Release

Toronto, ON – November 2, 2022 – Meridian is pleased to announce its $100,000 title sponsorship with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin’s (Habitat HMD) innovative Tiny Homes Pilot Program, working alongside skilled trades students and Indigenous communities to build and establish affordable housing options.

“The Tiny Homes Pilot Program is an exciting and unique initiative helping to accelerate economic reconciliation and youth community activism and aligns with Meridian’s interest in supporting community-based affordable housing solutions,” says Jay-Ann Gilfoy, President & CEO, Meridian. “Our corporate partnership with Habitat is the outcome of an imaginative combination which brought together Meridian volunteers, Indigenous community members and students.”

Habitat for Humanity’s innovative Tiny Homes Program was brought to Meridian’s attention by an employee, at the suggestion of her teen daughter who took a construction course at one of the participating schools. Together, they inspired a group of Meridian employees to volunteer for a community-based tiny house build. Recognizing the opportunity to do more, the voice of one 15-year-old high school student prompted Meridian’s formal involvement as a sponsor to expand the pilot.

The first phase of the pilot program began in the summer 2022 with five tiny homes built. The homes were relocated to the Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation, three to families and two serving as emergency shelters.

“We are providing hands-on training for students in the housing and construction trades,” says Chief Veronica Smith, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nations. “We appreciate the dedication and skills coming to our First Nation; building lasting relationships and sharing in cultural exchanges at the same time.”
With Meridian’s funding support of phase two, the Habitat HMD team has committed to undertaking six tiny home builds (up to 230 sq. ft.) in the 2022-23 school year.

“At Habitat for Humanity, we are working to make affordable housing a reality for more people, but we can’t do it alone. With the help of organizations like Meridian, we can make a difference,” says Eden Grodzinksi, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin.

Each of the phase two homes will be constructed by local secondary school students in partnership with two additional First Nations communities, The Chippewas of Kettle Stony Point and The Saugeen First Nations.

“This Tiny Home Program is forecasted to be a major pillar of the skilled trades and social impact programs across secondary schools in the coming years,” says Eden. “Not only are we increasing the number of people who will have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home, but by partnering with our local school boards, we are also able to empower students to take action in their communities.”

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MEDIA ALERT:

Join Meridian and Habitat for Humanity to visit a tiny home under construction.

WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd from 9:45 – 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: 2333 Headon Forest Dr, Burlington, ON, L7M 3X6

VISUALS: Tiny House under construction, student volunteer build team and more.
•    Amanda Sunderland, Lease Administration Specialist, Meridian
•    Ava Sunderland, High School Student
•    Allan Nason, Teacher, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School

For more information contact:
Teresa Pagnutti, Public Relations, Meridian
[email protected]; 416-275-3816

Jacob Del Zotto, Corporate Communications, Meridian
[email protected]; 647-242-8877

About Meridian

We acknowledge the land on which we operate is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

With more than 75 years of banking history, Meridian is Ontario’s largest credit union, and second largest in Canada, helping to grow the lives of our more than 360,000 Members. Meridian has $28.8 billion in assets under management (June 30, 2022) and delivers a full range of financial services online, by phone, by mobile and through a network of 89 branches across Ontario, and business banking services in 15 locations. Meridian cardholders also have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ABMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE® Network and the Allpoint Network in the US. For more information, please visit: meridiancu.ca, follow us on Twitter @MeridianCU or visit us on Facebook.

About Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin

Founded in 1999 as Habitat for Humanity Halton, the organization merged with Habitat for Humanity Mississauga in 2015. In 2021, Habitat Halton-Mississauga expanded its service area to include Dufferin County. Working with individual donors, government, corporate, community and construction partners – and channelling the selfless dedication of legions of volunteers – Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin is innovatively providing affordable housing solutions for the communities it serves. It is part of Habitat for Humanity Canada – a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Nationally and internationally, Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable shelter. Established in 1976, Habitat for Humanity is currently the leading provider of affordable housing globally, with operations in more than 70 countries. www.habitathm.ca.

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Meridian Credit Union communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

For permission to republish this content, please contact the Meridian Credit Union Marketing Department at [email protected]. ©️ 2022 Meridian Credit Union

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