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As part of its ongoing commitment to Habitat for Humanity Australia’s home building program, USG Boral has recently supported the completion of three new homes in Yea, Victoria for families experiencing housing stress.
In a community heavily affected by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, Habitat for Humanity’s Yea Heights Estate project assists low income families by partnering with them to build simple, safe and affordable housing. After developing the site and connecting all required services, nine affordable houses have been built on the estate to date, providing partner families and their children a place to call home.
USG Boral’s Regional Business Analyst – Southern Region, Tom Spencer is the champion for USG Boral’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity Australia. Tom has had firsthand involvement since USG Boral started providing material to local Habitat for Humanity projects back in 2014. Tom said, “Our first support to Habitat was at Crib Point in Victoria. After hearing the families’ stories of hardship and trauma, then seeing all the volunteers and locals who assisted families in need and the positive impact on the lives of the people moving into the houses, you say to yourself, ‘We can make a difference here’.”
Since 2014, USG Boral has provided materials as well as labour for 11 houses around Victoria, most recently finishing three new homes in Yea. USG Boral provided SHEETROCK® plasterboard, cornice and compounds to line and finish the two- and three- bedroom homes. A team of contractors was also deployed to manage the install and assist volunteers.
“Habitat for Humanity gets the partner families involved in the build to understand the process and heighten their engagement,” added Tom. “There is a big difference between a house and a home. Many of the families’ stories are heartbreaking. These homes create a positive change in the lives of these families, particularly those with young children. The kids can have a more stable living environment which helps them focus on schooling. It’s a great honour to be involved in these building projects, and to be able to hand over the keys to a new home to a deserving family.
“USG Boral is extremely proud to support Habitat for Humanity, helping address the lack of affordable housing for low income families in a number of communities,” added Tom. “While we can simply deliver material to building projects, we realised we could add more value by being involved on site as well. This is why we now also provide the installation teams on the ground. It’s equally a great opportunity for our management and staff to visit these sites, and provide a helping hand when they can.”
A USG Boral volunteer team headed to Yea, 120kms north of Melbourne to share their plastering skills with schoolboy volunteers and together help build a home for bushfire-affected families.
Boral is Habitat for Humanity Australia’s ‘Building Community Resilience’ program partner. In Victoria USG Boral has donated SHEETROCK® Plasterboard to complete three homes at Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula with Habitat for Humanity Victoria, and is now supporting part of the 25-home project in Yea, near the epicentre of the Black Saturday bushfires.
The 2009 fires wiped out more than 1,300 homes and 40 per cent of land across the Murrindindi Shire, making it extremely difficult for many families to find new homes. Habitat for Humanity Victoria has already completed five homes for families affected by the bushfires, and another three homes are underway.
Melbourne High student Aditya Talwar was one of the 22 students to be selected by teachers from more than 80 who applied to be part of the week-long project, in what has become a popular annual Melbourne High tradition.
“Working with the plasterers was really rewarding,” Aditya said. “They were very patient and ensured the group was comfortable with the role. Even when we made a mistake, they would provide constructive criticism on how to improve and rectify the errors made. They were also very friendly, and made sure we were enjoying our time there.”
According to Habitat for Humanity Victoria Executive Director, Phil Curtis, USG Boral’s donation and volunteering efforts have made an enormous contribution to families in need.
“It was great to have USG Boral staff on site to assist and instruct the students from Melbourne High School to install the plasterboard in one of the houses currently under construction."
Habitat for Humanity relies on the generous donations from companies like USG Boral and individuals to build homes for families in need across Australia and the world. The families partner with the charity to work towards owning a home of their own, contributing “sweat equity labour” and what they can afford financially.
USG Boral has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in Victoria to help build homes for families in need. In addition to Boral’s new community partnership with Habitat for Humanity (Australia), USG Boral has donated its new lightweight USG Boral SHEETROCK® Plasterboard to Habitat for Humanity’s Crib Point housing project on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, enabling three homes to be built more quickly for families living in housing stress.
USG Boral Senior Vice President Asia Pacific and Executive General Manager Australia, Tony Charnock, said: “We are pleased to help the local families and communities assisted by Habitat for Humanity and are very proud to contribute our brand new SHEETROCK® Plasterboard to this worthy housing project at Crib Point.
Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Philip Curtis, said: “USG Boral is an innovative leader in building products and their support means our homes can be built more efficiently and sustainably and at a lower cost to help provide families in need with great hope for their future.
“We really appreciate Boral’s support and commitment to our vision, which is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We help Australian families who are struggling to achieve security and stability to own their own home and become thriving members of their community.” With three small children, including twins, Krystal and Evan Johnson have been living with Krystal’s parents. Struggling financially, they were finding it impossible to afford to rent a home. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity and its supporters, including USG Boral, the Johnsons will soon move into their very own home at Crib Point.
“It's amazing – the great work Habitat for Humanity is doing. If we didn’t have their help, we would be stuck here with our parents, for the rest of our lives as we just can’t afford to rent,” Krystal said.
The Johnson family is planning to move into their new home before Christmas, thanks to the assistance from USG Boral.
Habitat for Humanity is the world’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing for low-income families. Research shows that a stable, secure home gives people the opportunity to be healthier, happier and more secure, and for children to be better nourished and better educated.
In Victoria Habitat for Humanity has built 46 homes, including some for Black Saturday affected families, thanks to generous donations of financial assistance, time and labour from the community. Habitat for Humanity homes are currently being built in Yea in North East Victoria, Drouin in South Gippsland and Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula by teams of volunteers, including corporate executives, high school and university students, community groups and individuals.
For further information contact:
Anastasia Narkiewicz, USG Boral +61 3 9214 2173
Habitat for Humanity +61 2 9919 7000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org