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Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor launches The Holmes Foundation ‘Lien on Me’—the rotten renovation that inspired Foundation

TORONTO, ON - April 26, 2006
Mike Holmes, host of Holmes on Homes® on HGTV is launching a national foundation that will change the building and renovation industry in Canada.

The Holmes Foundation is a charitable foundation that will support two important goals: It will assist Canadians who need help or resources to get their homes and lives back after botched renovations; and it will support the training of youth in the skilled trades, through apprenticeships, scholarships and bursaries. In Canada there is a desperate—and growing--shortage of skilled workers, and unless youth are encouraged to enter this employment field, all homeowners are making themselves increasingly vulnerable to unscrupulous contractors in the future. Spending on home renovations in Canada has exceeded $2.5 billion per month, and 65% of Canadian homeowners plan to renovate their homes in next 12 months. But without skilled trades people to supply this demand there will be long waits for help and plenty of incentive for incompetent and unethical contractors to stay in business.

‘Lien on Me’ is the Holmes on Homes® project that inspired the creation of The Holmes Foundation.  It is the story of Christina and Joe, a couple whose home was ruined by a contractor who took more than $220,000 from them and then abandoned the job. Their house is completely uninhabitable and unsafe. Now the contractor has put a lien on the home—for twice the amount of the original contract.

“I need help to rebuild this house and this family’s life,” says Holmes. “I want to rebuild their home—from the ground up—but I can’t do it alone.”

Mike Holmes is raising funds to help rebuild the home of Christina and Joe—the first time the Holmes on Homes® team has felt it would be more practical to tear down and rebuild an entire home than to attempt to repair the damage done by a dishonest contractor.  Proceeds raised from contributions will go toward the fund established by The Holmes Foundation.  The fund will, along with donations by industry supporters and sponsors, pay for the rebuilding of this family’s home. The new home will also be a prototype of the kind of house Mike Holmes would like to build: reliable, eco-friendly, energy efficient, fire, water and mould resistant and designed to stand the test of time. The Holmes on Homes™ team will Make it Right®, using leading edge building methods, materials and technology. The entire project will be taped for a 2 hour ‘Lien on Me’ special, which will be broadcast on HGTV Canada.

Mike Holmes is an international television star and a home renovation advocate who passionately believes in his motto: Make it Right™. For five successful seasons on television Mike Holmes has helped homeowners who have been taken advantage of by dishonest and incompetent contractors. Now, with the launch of The Holmes Foundation, he is extending the opportunity to others so they may join in the cause to help victims of unscrupulous contractors.

The mission of The Holmes Foundation is to ensure that all residential renovation and construction in Canada is done right…the first time.

The Holmes Foundation will do this by partnering with schools, businesses and governments to raise the profile and reputation of all skilled trades in Canada, using Mike Holmes’ reputation to encourage young people to pursue careers in the skilled trades and to encourage employers to hire them.  In addition, The Holmes Foundation will provide information on careers in the building trades and will offer scholarships and bursaries to students pursuing training in these trades.  The Holmes Foundation will also provide help directly to families that have been left impoverished as a result of hiring unqualified contractors by establishing a network of
professionals who will lend their services to these families and by undertaking renovation projects across Canada.
For more information contact: Publicity@makeitright.ca