| Building equity in a home is now a reality for four Strathcona County families who received keys to their new Habitat for Humanity homes on Friday, July 27th. A duplex was constructed over the winter and summer by volunteers and from significant financial contributions made by the REALTORS® Community Foundation and in partnership with the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Photo supplied|
Another two homes were also made possible by Christenson Developments and Landmark Group of Builders, who have each donated one home every year for the past three years. Strathcona County also played a key role with significant contributions to all four homes.
Said Sherwood Park Mayor Linda Osinchuk, “This is a perfect example of community pulling together and rallying behind a cause when private corporations, a municipal government and a non-profit society can all work together for such a valuable outcome”.
“Christenson Developments is pleased to work with Landmark Homes and Habitat to help another working family achieve home ownership in our Emerald Hills sustainable urban village,” said Greg Christenson, President of Christenson Developments. “Congratulations to the REALTORS® Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation for adding their support to this very special occasion for working families in the Capital Region.”
“A home has such a positive effect on people. Just owning a home can make good citizens, nourishing them mentally and physically,” said Reza Nasseri, President & CEO, Landmark Group of Builders.
“The REALTORS® Community Foundation is an ongoing supporter of Habitat for Humanity” said Jill Didow, Executive Director of the REALTORS® Community Foundation. “Our Board and Members worked hands on building these homes so we all feel very connected to this terrific cause!”
“The Alberta Real Estate Foundation has long supported housing affordability programs throughout Alberta and it’s partnership with the REALTORS® Community Foundation,” said Cheryl DePaoli, Executive Director, Alberta Real Estate Foundation. “The Raise the Roof program, benefiting Charlene and her family enables Albertans to move into affordable home ownership”.
The four Habitat families will pay a mortgage to Habitat that is interest-free and their payments will never be more than 25 percent of their income. This interest-free mortgage is the reason why Habitat homes are affordable. The families’ mortgage payments are then reinvested into building more Habitat homes. Families also contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” on Habitat build sites as a down payment for their home.
Christine Chorney, President of the REALTORS® Community Foundation said, “In addition to providing funds to build the home, we actually helped physically BUILD THE HOME! The Foundation Board came out on a beautiful June day and laid the living room floors, swept, cleaned and enjoyed a fun day together knowing we were making a difference in the community in which we live and work. And most importantly, the amount of time REALTORS® have put into building Habitat for Humanity homes in 2012 is over 100 hours. These are REALTORS® from RE/MAX, Century 21, Royal LePage, Coldwell Banker and others. This is the REALTORS® Community Foundation’s fifth Habitat for Humanity home having built in St. Albert, Kirkness, and two in Anderson Gardens.
“Home ownership was a dream out of my grasp,” said Sharlene, Habitat partner family. “Now my daughter will have her own room and I’m able to build equity in a home and stay rooted in Sherwood Park. This opportunity is more than a ‘dream come true.’”
Founded in 1991, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton is a non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. With the help of thousands of volunteers, many families have been provided with safe, decent and affordable housing across northern Alberta. For more information, visit www.hfh.org