In the year ahead you can count on Habitat for Humanity Canada to keep pushing the issues of housing and affordable homeownership forward. We'll be working closely with the Federal Government to ensure the promises of the National Housing Strategy become a reality.
Terence and Melissa started their family on the main floor of a split-level house. Nearly six years and three children later, they were in need of an accessible home.
“It was never part of the plan to stay that long, but Atticus became sick and that changed everything,” says Melissa.
Their first son, Atticus, had his first seizure at just four-and-a-half months old. When Atticus began exhibiting what Melissa describes as "a new type of seizure" at five-and-a-half months, they took him back to the doctor. That’s when he was diagnosed with infantile spasms — a rare epileptic syndrome that occurs in infants and significantly increases their risk for developmental disorders — and refractory epilepsy, which they still struggle with today.
“We’ve tried every medicine, every treatment imaginable, but it’s relentless. He has seizures every day — yesterday he had 30. That’s about his average in one day,” she says.
Over time, Atticus’ health continued to deteriorate, and when he became wheelchair bound, the couple needed to use nearly everything they had to help buy a wheelchair-accessible van.
Through partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Melissa and Terence will pay an interest-free affordable mortgage with no down-payment. They also volunteered 500 hours to secure their Habitat home.
“To have Habitat’s support is huge,” says Melissa. “Even if I were able to save for a down payment, we’d never be able to make our home as accessible as Habitat has.”