Today, Habitat for Humanity Canada presented Jim Carragher with the second-annual Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life National Award for Leadership in Sustainable and Affordable Home Building at its Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Jim Carragher is the Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island Inc. and has been instrumental in instituting and advancing recognized green building practices for Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island.
The award was created in 2009 in an effort to encourage and inspire individuals to champion the issue of affordable home ownership in their communities and encourage more Habitat for Humanity affiliates to adopt green sustainable building practices. To qualify for the award, individuals must demonstrate active participation and involvement in the following three categories: donate; participate; and advocate.
"Many low-income families living in affordable housing are facing financial challenges due to increasing utility costs," said Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "It is our hope that this award will continue to encourage individuals like Jim to actively support and engage in affordable and sustainable home building as a means to help Canadians break the "energy poverty" cycle."
Carragher has helped raise approximately $88,000 for Habitat for Humanity in the past year, with 100 per cent of the funds being used to build sustainable homes in Prince Edward Island. He also played a leading role at the 2009 Eco-Build - a PEI build that met Habitat for Humanity Canada's sustainable building criteria - and has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring sustainable home construction in future Habitat PEI projects.
"It is our goal to have 90 per cent of our builds meet third-party best-in-class green building standards by 2012," said Stewart Hardacre, President and COO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "The green homes built by our volunteers help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to three tons, and save our partner families about $500 annually in utility costs."
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, along with their staff and distribution associates, have a long history of supporting Habitat for Humanity Canada, sponsoring multiple builds and contributing hundreds of hours to build homes. Great-West Life and its subsidiaries have made a five-year commitment of $250,000 to support this award.