HfH Edmonton’s Blog: The largest rural Habitat build in Canadian history completes as 15 families receive keys to their new homes.

The largest rural Habitat build in Canadian history completes as 15 families receive keys to their new homes.

Edson, AB – Fifteen well-deserving Edson families received keys to the first ever Habitat for Humanity homes in the community. The project began three years ago when a local committee recognized the need for affordable home ownership in Edson. The Edson Habitat project is a testimony to what can happen when charitable organizations partner with governments, local businesses, faith and community groups and individuals work together for the betterment of a community. It is currently the largest rural Habitat build in Canadian history.

“Habitat Edmonton is thrilled that 15 families will now have a place to call home,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “The local Habitat committee, the Town, the Province, and all supporters – volunteer and donors – need to be lauded for their outstanding commitment to strengthening the community through the Habitat program.”

The Government of Alberta has been a strong proponent of affordable housing across Alberta and supported the project in Edson.

“Our government is committed to affordable housing for families and was proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity on another historic project,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Helping 15 families become homeowners is an invaluable investment in the community, and we commend Habitat for Humanity, volunteers, the Town of Edson and the private sector for their collaboration and hard work on this project.”

The land for the 15 homes was made possible by the Town of Edson.

“We would like to thank Habitat for Humanity and all of the volunteers for their dedication and hard work in making this dream become a reality for all of the families participating in the program,” said Mayor Greg Pasychny, Town of Edson. “This was a large undertaking, but everyone pulled together to bring the project to completion. The homes look great and we’re very excited to have the Canada’s largest rural Habitat for Humanity building project in our community. Congratulations from all Town of Edson Council and Staff!”

Countless hours were given by many local volunteers over many years, and The Friends of Habitat Edmonton – Edson committee members deserve recognition for a job well done.

Habitat families pay an interest-free mortgage that is never more than 25 percent of their income. This allows families more disposable income to spend on necessities and to save for the future. Each mortgage payment that Edson families pay goes to Habitat’s Fund for Humanity and will go towards future Habitat builds in Edson so that a greater number of families will benefit for years down the road.

First homes in Cold Lake for Habitat for Humanity!

Cold Lake, AB – Habitat for Humanity was pleased to present keys to Cold Lake families. With the increasing need for affordable housing in Cold Lake, the project was a timely endeavor. The development was a first-of-its-kind for Habitat Edmonton: an apartment complex with 32 units. The development was named Spirit Arms by the neighbouring Holy Cross school grade 1 students.

“Habitat is tremendously pleased that families will now be able to build equity in a home,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “In a booming economy it is difficult to find housing, but the Province and City have been diligent to ensure that they are addressing the great need in the City.”

This development is a great example of how the government helps facilitate sustainable affordable housing projects. The Provincial government laid the groundwork so that Habitat for Humanity was able to collaborate with the community of Cold Lake and other partners to provide affordable home ownership opportunities to local residents.

“We rely on strong partnerships to support affordable housing programs, and our government is pleased that Habitat for Humanity and the City of Cold Lake are partnering on this project,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Habitat for Humanity and the City of Cold Lake deserve recognition for coming together to strengthen the community and bring much-needed affordable housing to Cold Lake families.”

The City of Cold Lake has been a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity bringing the affordable home ownership model into the city.

“It’s no secret that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Cold Lake and city council has looked at a variety of ways to address the issue,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project comes at a crucial time and will give a lot of families hope in a very challenging housing market. We welcome Habitat for Humanity to our city, and these families to their new homes. I’m sure that this partnership will continue to grow and to benefit Cold Lake residents well into the future.”

Habitat families pay an interest-free mortgage that is never more than 25 percent of their income. This allows families more disposable income to spend on necessities and to save for the future. Each mortgage payment that Cold Lake families pay goes to Habitat’s Fund for Humanity and will go towards future Habitat builds in Cold Lake so that a greater number of families will benefit for years down the road.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Lafarge hands over keys to the first NetZero Energy precast concrete homes in North America

Lafarge hands over keys to the first NetZero energy precast concrete homes in North America.

Edmonton, AB – Lafarge has made homeownership possible for two hard-working Edmonton families through Habitat for Humanity. Partnering with Stantec to design the first NetZero energy precast concrete homes in North America, the team has targeted LEED® Platinum certification. Representatives from Lafarge and Stantec had the honour today of presenting keys to the recipient Habitat families. Building with precast concrete allows the homes to benefit from significant thermal mass. For the next two years the homes’ energy performance will be monitored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to determine if the high-efficiency design delivers on an operational basis. Learnings from all stages of the project will be incorporated in other sustainable residential solutions.

“These types of projects are so important if we are to find sustainable solutions to affordable home ownership,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “The partnership between Habitat, Lafarge and Stantec demonstrates how community partners can work together for the benefit of humanity.”

“Lafarge is committed to building better cities and this project is an ideal example. Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Stantec has allowed us to do innovative research on the energy efficiency that concrete brings to buildings while helping two deserving families attain home ownership. From a sustainable construction and sustainable communities perspective, Lafarge could not be prouder of all this duplex has achieved,” commented Larry Diduck, Vice President- Edmonton.

“Working with Lafarge and this group of designers to find solutions that make sustainable precast concrete homes a reality has been an exciting challenge, and the result is a testament to the teamwork that has taken place over the last two years,” says Keith Shillington, Edmonton Capital Region Vice President at Stantec. “Habitat for Humanity is such a valuable partner in the community for Stantec, and designing homes for two of their families made this project even more meaningful for our team.”

Volunteers began construction on July 10, 2012 and a total of 3,050 hours were given by 159 different volunteers. As a charity, Habitat mobilizes volunteers and community partners to bring their affordable home ownership model to hard working families. The NetZero Energy project has been embraced by many in the community, the corporate sector, small business sector, by individuals and municipal and provincial governments.

“The NetZero project is another milestone for Habitat for Humanity that supports sustainability on so many levels,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Habitat for Humanity and its partners deserve our recognition for being affordable housing leaders and ensuring our communities are built with the environment in mind, while supporting Albertans in need.”

The land for the state-of-the-art duplex was made possible by the City of Edmonton Cornerstones program.

“The City of Edmonton continues to benefit from the partnerships established through the Cornerstones Plan for Affordable Housing,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “Working with Habitat for Humanity, we’ve been able to help build attractive, affordable homes for families who need them, and energy-efficient design will keep them affordable for years to come.”

The homes are designed and constructed to be sustainable, which complements Habitat’s sustainable home ownership program. The two Habitat homeowners will pay an interest-free mortgage to Habitat and their payments will never be more than 25 percent of their income. The families’ mortgage payments are then reinvested into building more Habitat homes, ensuring an ongoing Habitat program. Families also contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” on Habitat build sites as a down payment for their home.

Many others partnered with Habitat, Lafarge and Stantec to make this project a reality: Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton Cornerstones, Kassian Dyck Associates, Dow Chemical Canada, All Weather Windows, NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Services, Landmark Solar Productions, Vital Engineering, Clark Ecoscience and Sustainability, RBBN Contractors and Painting Ltd., Cascade Aqua-Tech, Irving Wire Products Corporation, Canada Green Building Council – Alberta Chapter, Eco Ammo, Deck X, Siteline Inc, Whirlpool, Patching Associates Acoustical Engineering Ltd., Hunter Douglas, NIC, Schneider Electric, Eco Synergy, Threshold Energies, and Ecobee.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Dream of home ownership comes true for two well-deserving Whitecourt families.

Whitecourt, AB — Two local families received keys to their newly built Habitat for Humanity homes in Whitecourt. For the families, home ownership means stability. Each family will be rooted in their new neighbourhood and begin to build equity in their home through an interest-free mortgage (with payments that never exceed 25 percent of their household income). The duplex was constructed by the Friends of Habitat Edmonton – Whitecourt (FOHEW) committee and Whitecourt volunteers, and under the guidance of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton.

“The community of Whitecourt holds a special spot in our hearts since they are Habitat Edmonton’s first ever Friend community,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “We are constantly amazed by the generosity, dedication, spirit of neighbour-helping-neighbour of the communities we serve. Whitecourt has demonstrated over the course of the Habitat builds in 2009 and 2013, and I have no doubt that it will happen during the next build.”

Since 2005, the Government of Alberta has supported Habitat’s sustainable program and has been a champion for affordable housing in communities across our province.

“It is projects like this that help to build stronger communities through the generosity and goodwill of everyone involved,” said George VanderBurg, MLA for Whitecourt – Ste. Anne. “I am very proud of our community’s commitment to this important cause.”

Under the leadership of Mayor Trevor Thain, the Town of Whitecourt has been instrumental in helping Habitat acquire land for both Habitat builds.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is how active Whitecourt residents are when it comes to volunteering within the community. Habitat for Humanity projects are excellent examples of how residents and local businesses come together to make our community the best place to live, work and play,” said Whitecourt Mayor Trevor Thain. “Our community consists of young, hardworking families; many with young children. Habitat for Humanity is extremely supportive of this demographic, and as such our community’s partnership with this organization is ongoing.”

Habitat is grateful to the FOHEW committee for their dedication and passion for serving families. Habitat also recognizes the key roles that the Government of Alberta, Town of Whitecourt, Polar Ray-O-Max Windows, and Penn West Petroleum Inc. have played in making affordable home ownership a reality through the Habitat program. Habitat families certainly thrive in their new homes, and our program continues to grow as we serve an increasing number of families.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Habitat for Humanity’s Aurora Place development in St. Albert completed.

Habitat for Humanity’s Aurora Place development in St. Albert completed.

St. Albert, AB – Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers completed the Aurora Place development by presenting keys to 10 well-deserving families. The project was completed two years after construction commenced at 70 Arlington Drive. There are now 30 new homeowners in Aurora Place who are building equity and preparing a bright future for their children.

“We are so pleased that all 30 families will now be rooted here in St. Albert,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Children can attend St. Albert schools, parents can become more involved in their community, and the family unit can thrive. It’s very rewarding for our organization to be part of something so special.”

It takes many supporters to make Habitat builds a reality. Habitat is blessed to have the strong support of the Government of Alberta, who was a partner in the Aurora Place development.

“We thank Habitat for Humanity and its project partners for their commitment to affordable housing and the families of Aurora Place,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Our government is proud to have supported Habitat for Humanity on this project that will benefit and strengthen the community of St. Albert for many years to come.”

The City of St. Albert has been a stalwart supporter of making the Habitat program available to its citizens. The City was instrumental in helping Habitat enlist the land for the 30 families. The addition of the final 10 families means a total of 35 St. Albert families served by the Habitat program.

“Supporting the development of a range of affordable housing options for our community is a Council priority,” says St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse. “Habitat for Humanity provides an opportunity for local residents to experience the strength and stability of home ownership, and to build and enhance the quality of life for their family.”

Habitat families purchase their home at market value and pay an interest-free mortgage with payments that never exceed 25 percent of their income. Habitat uses the families’ mortgage payments to build more homes to serve a greater number of families. This is what makes the Habitat program sustainable. Habitat partner families also contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” on Habitat build sites as the down payment for their home.

Major supporters of the 10 homes are the Government of Alberta, City of St. Albert, Gordon Food Service, Lloyd Sadd, 4-Way Equipment Rental, Go Auto and A & A Trenching.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: REIN makes big announcement

After reaching the $1 M milestone in support of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, REIN makes another major announcement.

Edmonton, AB—Don R. Campbell and the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) initially partnered with Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in 2006. Don witnessed the incredible impact that the Habitat program brought to families and communities, and was delighted with the natural fit that REIN had with Habitat. REIN is all about real estate investing, and what better way to give back to the community than investing in a sustainable, affordable home ownership program for families in need.

Don committed the royalties of his first book Real Estate Investing in Canada to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. After seeing the success from his first book, Don contributed 100% of the royalties from his subsequent seven books. From that point on, he has led the charge to support Habitat. Through his books and REIN members’ generous donations, the REIN community has contributed over $1 Million to Habitat.

“When we first started out supporting Habitat for Humanity, our goal was to raise $20,000,” said Don Campbell,. “Even though we’ve surpassed $1 Million, the REIN community continues to be enthusiastic about having a positive impact on families. We believe that the Habitat Edmonton program accomplishes this and we’re proud to continue raising support for this successful organization.”

“The generosity of Don and Connie Campbell and the REIN members has really left us speechless,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “REIN is our largest donor. They have donated over one million to date, and for them to step up again with another commitment is just astounding.”

REIN members have experienced the joys of the Habitat program firsthand as they presented house keys to many Habitat families over the years. Habitat for Humanity Edmonton is grateful for their ongoing support and their commitment to making affordable home ownership opportunities available for hard-working, well-deserving families.

Dream of home ownership comes true for a well-deserving Leduc family.

Leduc, AB — It was a morning to remember for Bonnie and her children Johnathan (15), Abigail (7) and Cale (6), as they received keys to their new Habitat for Humanity home courtesy of Dolce Vita Homes in partnership with Beaverbrook Developments. The home builder pledged the home to Habitat during Habitat Day in the Capital Region this past April. This ‘hand up’ will enable the families to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for their children, and to build equity in a home.

“We are so pleased that Dolce Vita Homes and Beaverbrook Developments have joined the ranks of Habitat Day supporters,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “The contribution they’re making is an investment – it’s a sustainable investment. Not only in the life of a family, but in the community of Leduc.”

The Government of Alberta has supported Habitat’s sustainable program for many years and has been a champion for affordable housing in our province.

“We rely on strong partnerships to support affordable housing programs, and our government is pleased that Habitat for Humanity continues to gather more supporters through special events like Habitat Day in the Capital Region,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Habitat for Humanity and industry partners all deserve recognition for coming together to strengthen the community and bring home ownership to this deserving family.”

“Habitat for Humanity represents hope, empowerment and pride in ownership and our city is proud to be one of this year’s capital region Habitat home locations through the generous support of one of our local developers, Dolce Vita Homes,” says Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke. “On behalf of the City of Leduc, I want to welcome and congratulate the new homeowners who contributed 500 hours of sweat equity in the construction of this wonderful home.”

As a first time participant in Habitat Day in the Capital Region, Stewart McAndrews, President of Dolce Vita Homes, has stepped up to partner with Habitat to provide homeownership to hard-working families.

“Dolce Vita has come to realize that supporting the Habitat program is a sustainable investment in our community,” said Stewart McAndrews, President of Dolce Vita Homes. “The home we are providing today will forever remain in the affordable home ownership pool serving families for years to come, which makes our support a deserving contribution to the community and families in need.”

Habitat is grateful to Dolce Vita Homes in partnership with Beaverbrook Developments, the Government of Alberta, and the Leduc Foundation for making affordable homeownership a reality through the Habitat program. Habitat families certainly thrive in their new homes, and our program continues to grow as we serve an increasing number of families in our capital region communities.