FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2009
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program is supporting a unique Habitat for Humanity partnership that will result in 11 energy-efficient homes for low-income working families in Winnipeg.
SFI-certified companies Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and Buchanan Sales will donate OSB and lumber from well-managed forests for the homes, which will be built over the next two years. Three of the homes will be built through a partnership involving Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg; the Manitoba Métis Federation, Winnipeg Region; and the Province of Manitoba.
“The SFI program is helping us source our wood building supplies from organizations that are committed to responsible forest management, which is important for our sustainable construction model,” said Sandy Hopkins, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg. The 11 homes are the first of 34 that, once completed, will be Canada’s most sustainable affordable housing development. They will be built to both the U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program for residential homes and the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Gold Standard.
SFI Inc. is a registered non-profit organization responsible for one of the largest third-party forest certification programs in the world. Across Canada and the United States, more than 65 million hectares (160 million acres) are certified to the SFI forest standard, which addresses key environmental, social and economic forest values – from water quality and biodiversity to harvesting and regeneration. Its unique fibre sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers’ lands, and its chain-of-custody certification tells buyers how much certified fibre is in a specific product.
“Working with Habitat for Humanity is an excellent way for the SFI program and its participants to show their commitment to communities as well as to responsible forest management,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said today. “Local SFI Implementation Committees and their many partners have already signed on to donate SFI-sourced products and provide SFI volunteers for Habitat projects in Maine, Minnesota and Tennessee.”
“The Métis people and community have strong family values, and great respect for the land – and this project addresses both,” said Ron Chartrand, Vice-President, Manitoba Métis Federation, Winnipeg Region. The Métis people constitute a distinct Aboriginal nation largely based in western Canada.
In addition to donating building products, SFI program participants will be represented when Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg holds a building blitz for the Métis project from July 18 to 24. Contact Karen Harrington at Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg for more information about the blitz.
Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg is one of the Habitat affiliates involved in the Aboriginal Housing Program, sponsored by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which aims to make the Habitat homeownership model available to more Aboriginal people across Canada.