HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Kerri’s Story

This was written by Kerri before she and her son moved into Neufeld Landing. They received their keys on December 17, 2015.

My name is Kerri and my son Caleb and I are one of the partner families that will be living at Neufeld Landing.

Home ownership was something that was never on my radar until one day I received a call from my sister. She had been volunteering at a Habitat build site out in Edson as a volunteer. She got asking questions and discovered that I met the qualifications to be able to apply for the program. It took me a little while to get the guts to call…I was convinced that I wouldn’t get a home so imagine my sheer joy when the answer was yes!

The day we were accepted I drove with Caleb out to the build site to show him that we were getting a house built. I walked around with him and I could see our future, I could see him growing up. I could see my grandchildren coming to visit. Later that night after Caleb was asleep I sat and cried thinking about us having a forever home. MY family moved a lot when I was growing up and I have moved several times as an adult so now knowing that we had one move ahead of us and that we never had to move again was overwhelming!

I believe that a big part of helping Caleb to grow and thrive is to provide him with a safe, healthy, stable and happy home! There are very few children in our current neighbourhood and as such the parks remain quiet when we venture out. I wish for us to be surrounded with families who are like us, families looking for a brighter future for our children. I longed for Caleb to have playmates next door, other moms and dads that I could visit with as our children laugh and play, to truly be a part of a community! All of those dreams are becoming a reality thanks to the home ownership program.

But more than that Habitat for Humanity truly gives a hand up to the families. Yes we get the opportunity to buy a home but we also get classes in budgeting, we will be taught home maintenance, we gain incredible skills and experience through the sweat equity program. Since beginning my hours I have mastered building stairs and answering phones, learned how to insulate, have amazing painting and trim skills but more importantly I am building relationships. Relationships with the amazing habitat staff that we work alongside of each and every shift but more importantly with my future neighbours. Our friendships are forming, our dreams are being shared, and our community is already being built from the ground up just like our homes.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Home for the holidays! Nine local families receive keys to their new homes days before Christmas.

Edmonton, Alberta – With only eight days until Christmas, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton was very pleased that nine families will be celebrating the holiday in their new homes at Neufeld Landing, the largest Habitat build in Canadian history. The families received a “hand up” into their affordable homes due to the generosity of donors and the hard work and dedication of local volunteers.

“Every one of us that is part of the Habitat for Humanity family is excited this year,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “There will be 14 children who wake up Christmas morning in a safe, decent, affordable home. This Christmas will be extra special, and the start of a beautiful future for each of them.”

Habitat for Humanity’s affordable home ownership program has been supported by the Government of Alberta since 2006. The sustainable Habitat program helps Albertan families thrive and build an exciting future. It’s a hand up that the Government supports.

“Supporting Habitat for Humanity projects is one way our government helps provide safe and affordable homes for Alberta families,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors. “I congratulate the Edmonton chapter for successfully completing Habitat’s largest Canadian build and the contribution this will make to the overall well-being of these nine families.”

Through the Cornerstones Program, the City of Edmonton helped Habitat for Humanity acquire the land for Neufeld Landing. The City has supported Habitat for Humanity’s work in the community for many years.

“Nine more families will get to enjoy a real home for the holidays this year,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “Every time we can help house someone in need, we move forward in the fight to end poverty in our city. The City of Edmonton is proud to support construction like this through the Cornerstones program, and partners like Habitat for Humanity are helping us create healthy, inclusive communities for everyone.”

Partner families spend 500 hours volunteering on Habitat build sites as their down payment. Once in their home, a family pays an interest-free mortgage with payments that are never more than 25 percent of their household income. The Habitat mortgage is what makes the homes affordable.

The major supporters of the nine homes are the Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton Cornerstones, MCAP, ATB Financial, Kristie Charitable Foundation, Whirlpool, Owens Corning, Qualico, REALTORS® Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Two Hinton families receive a “hand up” during the holidays.

Hinton, Alberta – Two Hinton families experienced a dream-come-true moment when they received keys to their Habitat for Humanity homes a week before Christmas.

“Helping two deserving families find affordable home ownership has been extremely rewarding for myself and the committee,” said Bill Bulger, Project Leader of Friends of Habitat Edmonton – Hinton. “We are excited that Tracy and Jennifer and their families will now have great homes in which to raise their families.”

Habitat for Humanity’s affordable home ownership program has been supported by the Government of Alberta since 2006. The sustainable Habitat program helps Albertan families thrive and build an exciting future. It’s a hand up that the Government supports.

“Supporting Habitat for Humanity projects is one way our government helps provide safe and affordable homes for Alberta families,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors. “A stable housing situation will contribute significantly to overall well-being for these two families.”

The Town of Hinton helped Habitat for Humanity acquire the land for build and has been a stalwart supporter of Habitat for Humanity’s work in the community for many years.

“Hinton is fortunate to have Habitat for Humanity actively working to provide housing choices for residents in our community,” said Mayor Rob Mackin. “This is an exciting time for the families entering into home ownership, and I thank all involved for the hard work, time and effort that have gone into completing this project.”

Partner families spend 500 hours volunteering on Habitat build sites as their down payment. Once in their home, a family pays an interest-free mortgage with payments that are never more than 25 percent of their household income. The Habitat mortgage is what makes the homes affordable.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Tristate Homes welcomes Leduc family into the second home they have donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Leduc, Alberta – Tristate Homes proudly handed house keys to Muhammed, Shumaliah and their four children during a heart-warming ceremony. The family had partnered with Habitat for Humanity and now has a place to call their own. The home is the second one pledged to Habitat for Humanity by Tristate Homes in partnership with the Leduc Foundation. Tristate Homes pledged their support during the 2014 Habitat Day in the Capital Region campaign. Leduc has had three Habitat homes as a result of the Habitat Day campaign, and Tristate Homes was thrilled to step up again this year.

“Tristate Homes is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity. We are proud to give a very deserving Leduc family their first home. We at Tristate witness the pride of home ownership every time a new homeowner takes possession of their Tristate home,” said Arash Vahdaty, President, Tristate Homes. “We believe that having the ability to own a home is a key staple to a family’s feeling of security and wellbeing. We wish this amazing family a lifetime of happiness, fond memories and an abundance of love in their home.”

The Government of Alberta has seen the benefits of Habitat for Humanity’s affordable home ownership program and has invested in the program since 2006. Since that time over 360 families have been helped by the program, and an increasing number of families continue to benefit.

“Supporting Habitat for Humanity projects is one way our government helps provide safe and affordable homes for Alberta families,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors. “A stable housing situation will contribute significantly to this family’s overall well-being.”

The Leduc Foundation has supported Habitat for Humanity initiatives in Leduc over the years. They have played an important role in partnering with Habitat to make this home possible, and continue to support Habitat for Humanity by investing in the program.

“Leduc Foundation is delighted to be partnering once again with Tristate Homes and Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, to bring another affordable home ownership opportunity to a family in the Leduc Region. The development of affordable housing provides housing options for the seniors, individuals, and families of modest means within our communities.” said Bob Young, Leduc Foundation Board Chair.

Partner families work hard for their Habitat for Humanity home. After investing 500 hours of sweat equity as their down payment, families pay an interest-free mortgage with payments that are never more than 25 percent of their household income. The Habitat mortgage is what makes the home affordable.

“We are proud and pleased to have incredible community supporters such as Tristate Homes,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Our partners are truly generous and understand how an investment in Habitat for Humanity has an impact on generations down the road. Our program helps families now and also provides a foundation for future generations.”

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Habitat for Humanity welcomes home nine families into the largest Habitat build in Canadian history

Edmonton, Alberta – Nine well-deserving families were presented with keys to their new homes and futures as Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) moved one step closer to completing construction on Neufeld Landing, the largest Habitat for Humanity build in Canadian history. The families will all be neighbors and are excited to begin their new lives. Each partner family must commit to working 500 hours as a sweat equity down payment on their home. The families’ achievements were celebrated by donors, supporters, dignitaries and HFHE staff.

The Government of Alberta has seen the benefits of Habitat for Humanity’s affordable home ownership program and has invested in the program since 2006. Since that time over 350 families have been helped by the program, and an increasing number of families continue to benefit.

“Supporting Habitat for Humanity projects is one way our government helps provide safe and affordable homes for Alberta families,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors. “These nine families will benefit from a stable housing situation that contributes significantly to their overall well-being.”

The City of Edmonton made it possible for HFHE to acquire the land for the largest Habitat Build in Canadian history through the Cornerstones program. The City has been a big supporter of HFHE’s work for many, many years.

“With the completion of these units, nine more Edmonton families are on the pathway out of poverty, with assurance that their housing needs are taken care of,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “If Edmonton is to be a truly inclusive and livable city, programs like Cornerstones and organizations like Habitat for Humanity are essential to creating the conditions for success.”

HFHE partner families work hard for their Habitat home. After investing 500 hours of sweat equity as their down payment, families pay an interest-free mortgage with payments that are never more than 25 percent of their household income. The Habitat mortgage is what makes the homes affordable.

“The Habitat for Humanity model works in every community,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “These nine families will now have the stability to create a life of their choosing. They don’t have to experience the anxiety of deciding between buying necessities or paying the rent – between surviving or thriving. They are free to focus on raising healthy families.”

The major supporters of the nine homes are the Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton Cornerstones, TD Bank, Gordon Food Service in partnership with Intercity Packers, Stantec, ATB Financial, All Weather Windows, Weinrich Consulting, and Lafarge Canada.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Two families proudly hold keys to first ever Habitat for Humanity homes in Slave Lake.

Slave Lake, AB — Two families received keys to the first ever Habitat for Humanity homes in the town of Slave Lake. The local Habitat for Humanity committee worked very hard to make dreams come true for the two families. Dignitaries were on hand to celebrate alongside of Habitat for Humanity and the families, one of which is the 100th Aboriginal family served by Habitat for Humanity in Canada.

The Government of Alberta has been a longtime supporter of Habitat’s work in the province, and have made it possible for Habitat to acquire the land for the Slave Lake project.

“Supporting Habitat for Humanity projects is one way our government helps provide safe, stable, and affordable homes for Alberta families,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors. “We know that a stable housing situation contributes significantly to a family’s overall well-being.”

Habitat has completed two homes is currently building another single family homes with plans to build seven more homes in the future. Habitat homes are affordable because families pay an interest-free mortgage that is never more than 25 per cent of their income. However, these home ownership opportunities are not possible without the support of dedicated volunteers and donors. Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers and partnerships to serve families in need of adequate housing, and is thrilled that residents and businesses in Slave Lake have stepped up to make this project successful.

“We are very proud of what the local committee has accomplished in Slave Lake,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “There has been a tremendous amount of volunteer labour and support, and the community of Slave Lake should be very proud of what has been accomplished.”

“Seeing a well deserving family move into the first Habitat for Humanity Home in Slave Lake is such an exciting and rewarding experience for our community,” said Tyler Warman, Mayor of Slave Lake. “To know that our community is working hard to find ways to provide housing for all our citizens is something to be celebrated.”

It is a tremendous achievement to reach 100 Aboriginal families served by Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country, and it is very special to Habitat that Slave Lake was where the milestone was achieved.

The presenting supporters of the first two Slave Lake homes are the Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Natural Resources Limited.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Habitat empowers another family in Strathcona County with help from Landmark Group of Companies.

Habitat empowers another family in Strathcona County with help from Landmark Group of Companies.

Sherwood Park, AB — A local family was thrilled to receive keys to their Habitat for Humanity home in Strathcona County. Cindy and her four children were presented with keys from Landmark Group of Companies, who donated the home as part of a pledge during Habitat Day in the Capital Region in 2011. The ceremony was a first-of-its-kind in that the house was what Habitat for Humanity calls a “buy back.” If a Habitat for Humanity partner family moves on, they sell their home back to the Habitat program. Habitat is then able to give another family a “hand up” by providing the home to them. Thus the home donated by Landmark Group is now helping a second family build a promising future.

“Habitat for Humanity is all about providing a ‘hand up’ to as many well-deserving families as we possibly can,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “The Buy Back model is a great example of how our program is sustainable and how Habitat homes can help many families even decades later.”

The family who sold their home back to Habitat for Humanity was able to use their equity to enter into a conventional mortgage and bought a home in another part of Strathcona County, opening up a home ownership opportunity for Cindy’s family.

“Our vision in Strathcona County is to become Canada’s most livable community. It’s through community partnerships, such as Habitat for Humanity, that we’re able to work together to provide safe, secure and affordable homes,” said Strathcona County Mayor Roxanne Carr. “Strathcona County is proud to be a part of a movement that transforms home ownership dreams into keys in the hands of 12 home owners, right here in this community.”

“It is rewarding to witness the success of the Habitat in the Capital Region program. The partnership between government, private and NFP organizations, along with efforts of volunteers and Habitat families has made it possible to make each Habitat unit a home for a well deserving family,” said Reza Nasseri, President & CEO, Landmark Group of Companies.” The beauty of it is that the first family who needed a ‘hand up’ received it through this program, demonstrating that with just some support, a family unit can rebuild itself in a home, and move on to better and greener future. This also makes it possible for the Habitat program to provide the same support yet to another family, bringing their hopes of having a place as their own home to reality. We are delighted to witness this in a Landmark home.”

Every mortgage payment made by Cindy will be equity. The mortgage provided by Habitat for Humanity is interest-free and payments will never exceed 25 percent of her income. This project has been a win for Cindy’s family, Landmark Group of Companies, Strathcona County and Habitat for Humanity.