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Twenty-one homes were built on Lyle Street in St. James through the Habitat for Humanity Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, and today, two families were given keys.

Todd Gauthier and his two daughters, Chloie and Carmin, were one of them. In fact, their home is the one that President and Mrs. Carter helped build when they visited Winnipeg in July.

Gauthier says it was amazing to meet them.

"It was just beautiful watching them work... just amazing people," he told media at at key ceremony today. He says he tried not to be emotional today thinking about them.

Gauthier says he and his daughters won't actually be moving into the home until December 1st. He says his daughters are "super excited."

"They've always wanted something like this. You know, they've always wanted their own rooms, and, you know, living in an apartment you only have so many rooms... so they're very excited, they look forward to it," says Gauthier, adding that the girls want to help plant a garden, like they do with their grandparents.habitathomes1How the homes look today.

Gauthier, who does masonry and bricklaying work, says he's called St. James home for most of his life, though he's lived in other parts of Winnipeg as well as Edmonton. This will be the fourth time Chloie and Carmin have moved. Owning a home was one of Gauthier's major goals in life. He wants to maintain a clean and healthy home, and have people over all the time.

Mayor Brian Bowman was one of the dignitaries on hand today. He calls it an amazing day. He says he's been to a number of key ceremonies over the years, and this was the most special one.

"Given that President Carter was here, and also, building with Todd was really cool," says Bowman. He called Gauthier a ferocious builder.

Habitat for Humanity provides opportunities for families that couldn't otherwise afford to own a home. It doesn't give homes away; Habitat homeowners pay a mortgage that is 27 per cent of their income, and they help in builds as well. The 21 homes built on Lyle Street were part of a nationwide "blitz build" that honoured Canada's 150th birthday with 150 new homes.