Alastair Davis CEO of Niagara Region Habitat for Humanity spoke to the Rotary Club of fort Erie.  Alastair pointed out that for every house Habitat constructs in the Niagara Region the Federal Government through its charitable program permits Habitat to construct five homes in Haiti.  Habitat is a not for profit organization.  It has paid staff which is supported entirely from the revenue it gets from its two "ReStore" stores in Fonthill and St. Catherines.  Habitat looks for donations from individuals and fund raisers.  Habitat is currently fundraising to build two homes in the Crescent Park area of Fort Erie.  Alastair pointed out they received a donation of the property from an elderly lady in Pennsylvania(unfortunately don't know her name).  The market value of the house they are planning on building is $110K pluss the value of the lot and connection charges.  They are looking for volunteer builders and organizations like our club can volunteer to do the work for one day or more.  Volunteers would only do work they have skill in.  As a safety "owners" can advertise homes for sale but Humanity has first right of refusal to purchase but will pay owners what they have actually paid off to that point in time.  Alastair said one of the most difficult task is to select the family.  These are selected from the working "poor-( people who make approx. $35K).  These people are required to assist in the construction of their home.  People are required to pay about 30% of their income towards the house mortgage which Habitat expects to have paid off in 15-20 Years.  These payments are adjusted as the families earnings increase.   People are educated on what it means to have a mortgage, how to manage their finances, how to properly maintain house and property and also important how to be good neighbours.  Although it rarely happens, Alastair points out it is extremely dissapointing when a selected family is not willing to live up to the trust Habitat and the community have placed in them.  Overall he points out his association with Habitat and the communities it supports have been very satisfying!