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Habitat for Humanity Canada announces it’s ‘disaffiliating’ Habitat Kamloops

Former Kamloops executive director says change won’t affect assets, only the Habitat name
Habitat for Humanity Canada announced Oct. 13 that it is ‘disaffiliating’ Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, but former Kamloops executive director Bill Miller said it won’t affect assets, only the name. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Habitat for Humanity Canada has announced it is “disaffiliating” Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, but the former Habitat Kamloops executive director says it will have no impact on its ReStores or housing developments other than a name change.

“The disaffiliation requires the non-profit organization, which has been operating as Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, to immediately cease using the Habitat for Humanity brand, including removing the Habitat name and logo from all of its social media accounts, advertising and other assets,” reads an Oct. 13 media release from Habitat Canada.

“As a charitable organization committed to providing safe and affordable housing to families living with low income, Habitat for Humanity holds itself to high operational and governance standards,” the release stated. It added that “the former affiliate” was unable to meet these standards. It didn’t outline what the standards are.

It said while Habitat for Humanity is no longer operating in the communities served by the former affiliate, it is exploring ways to continue to serve them.

Habitat Canada said it has been working with Habitat Kamloops for the past year to help it meet standards, but former Habitat Kamloops executive director Bill Miller said that’s not the case.

A media release from the Habitat for Humanity Kamloops Society noted its board of directors voted unanimously to cut ties with Habitat Canada and to negotiate a mutually acceptable disaffiliation agreement with it.

“Rather than work with us, Habitat Canada has arbitrarily chosen to accelerate the disaffiliation…”

The Habitat Kamloops society also noted that “going public with the issues between us benefits neither organization, was completely unnecessary, and causes harm to our communities.”

In December 2021, “Habitat Kamloops retained legal counsel to assist with issues arising from an outdated & ineffectual Affiliate Agreement. These issues with the affiliate agreement were raised by other affiliates throughout Canada and impact all Habitat affiliates in Canada,” stated the release.

Key to the negotiations was “significant underfunding” to local housing programs, reads the release.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity moves its Kamloops ReStore operations to Salmon Arm

Read more: Habitat for Humanity moves ahead with Salmon Arm 20-unit housing project

Miller said the announcement has no impact on the car raffle in Kamloops/Salmon Arm and the draw will still take place this Saturday, Oct. 15.

He said there is no impact on the ReStore in Salmon Arm other than to remove the Habitat logo; the store will continue to operate as the Salmon Arm ReStore.

Miller also said there is no impact on housing developments as the renamed organization will continue to develop and deliver attainable housing – “now with much more freedom, flexibility, and opportunities…”

The former Habitat for Humanity Kamloops has recently been working on housing developments in Salmon Arm, Sorrento and Sicamous.

“Regardless of the capricious action by Habitat Canada, we remain committed to our communities. We will continue to develop attainable housing projects, throughout the regions we serve, and provide support to all families currently under our wings – albeit under a new name,” said the Habitat Kamloops society.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops has been operating in Kamloops, Princeton, Lytton, Lillooet, Merritt, Prince George, McBride, Lumby, Chase, Enderby, Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Sorrento, Cache Creek, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Revelstoke.

Read more: VIDEO: Habitat for Humanity’s Salmon Arm ReStore breathes life into rebuilt location
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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