Habitat builds homes
Sunday's article Cyclist odyssey helps build family a home (July 13) elicited online comments that furthered common misconceptions about Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity does not give houses away or sell homes -- we build at reduced prices. The families who purchase the homes we build pay full market value for the house, as determined by an independent third-party professional appraiser.
What makes a home affordable are the terms: no down payment, no interest on the mortgage and monthly payments geared to the family's ability to pay rather than to the value of the house.
To apply for a Habitat home, at least one adult in the family must be working full-time, the family has to be in need of housing, overall family income has to be below a certain level, and the family has to be willing to partner with Habitat.
The last item means the family must complete "sweat equity" -- 350 hours for a single-parent family and 500 hours if there are two adults in the family. Sweat equity must be completed before the family can purchase their home.
Race and religion are irrelevant. We have built and sold 300 homes in Manitoba and while many of them have been purchased by new Canadians, many have also been purchased by native-born Canadians, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal.
Chief executive officer, Habitat for Humanity Manitoba
Don't blame flood victims
Letter-writer Diana Frantz is blaming the victim when it comes to recent flooding (Water, frustration rising, Letters, July 14).
Frantz lives in Winnipeg, on a natural flood plain, and hence is doing what she accuses others of -- putting themselves in harm's way.
If Frantz was actually paying attention, she would notice that several natural and unnatural conditions have taken place that have created this situation on our lakes and rivers, including the non-response from the NDP since the 2011 flood.
This flood is larger because of the draining of wetlands and a government ignoring the solutions. Blaming the landowners, some of whom have farmed for generations without problems, is lazy and unfair.
Fix Hydro infrastructure
With all the discussion going on regarding the Wuskwatim and Keeyask megaprojects, perhaps Manitoba Hydro should consider investing in its current infrastructure.
I spent yet another weekend with my family at the cottage without any electricity -- it seems a sparrow may have downed a power line while resting on it. The frequency of such outages has caused not only a loss of enjoyment, but also damage to personal property -- when the power goes out in the winter, how do you keep your space heated so your water pipes don't freeze?
Running seven noisy, gas-fuelled generators on our shoreline devalues the lake life and is hardly environmentally friendly, as Manitoba Hydro espouses to be.
Praise for The Producers
Wow -- did I ever have a ton of fun at The Producers at Rainbow Stage.
At intermission, I had a smile plastered on my face and a question in my head: "Is there anyone they didn't offend?" It was classic Mel Brooks humour done to the highest standards.
The cast was fantastic, the singing and dance numbers were spectacular, and the jokes, gags and laughs were steady.
I'm not a regular musical-goer, but I was totally caught up in this over-the-top fun. We spent the ride home going over all the great details. Bravo.
Staffing should match workload
The good news: With auto theft rate in Winnipeg down 85 per cent since 2004, MPI can reduce its annual subsidy to the WPS Stolen Auto Unit (MPI cuts subsidy to auto-theft unit, July 12).
The bad news: Even though auto thefts are down 85 per cent, the city will be "maintaining its current (staffing) compliment" of the Stolen Auto Unit.
Only in a government dreamland would you expect to maintain staffing levels for a work group whose workload dropped 85 per cent.
Messi among soccer's best
Despite Argentina's loss, the 27-year-old Lionel Messi remains one of the greatest players of all time, and deservedly won top player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Messi named tourney's best player, July 14).
He will be ranked in the company of the sport's biggest personalities: Pele, Andres Iniesta, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldo.
Messi's record-breaking brilliance over the last six seasons at Barcelona's Camp Nou cannot be overstated. Said Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi, "He is not from this planet. Messi is from Jupiter."
Hog shortage blame game
Re: Provincial ban blamed for hog shortage (July 12). It's easy to point fingers, but what about all the roller-coaster ups and downs the industry has been going through with herd reductions, producers voluntary leaving and barns shutting down?
The hog industry has an obligation to start accepting responsibility for their part of the hog shortage.
This is not a one-way street, and there's plenty of blame to be shared. The province and taxpayers have historically been very accommodating to the factory hog producers in Manitoba.