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.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Students celebrated alongside Habitat for Humanity as two families in Fairview receive keys to their Habitat homes.

Fairview, Alberta – A house key wound its way through the hands of a great number of students from the Grande Prairie Catholic School District up to the podium to start a very meaningful celebration. Students, dignitaries, volunteers and community members gathered to see two hard-working Fairview families receive keys to their Habitat for Humanity homes.

“Habitat’s program not only gives their partner families the very definition of opportunity, but also the ability to show true gratitude by working alongside fellow volunteers during the building process,” said Charity, a Fairview partner family. “We are given the ability to contribute to our dream while witnessing humanity’s generosity. We are given the gift of learning new skills thanks to the variety of skilled labor provided through this building process and the ability to attend education seminars for homeownership enlightenment.”

Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, says, “It’s really been amazing to watch four homes come together in Fairview. This community has a tremendous amount of heart and truly exemplifies the spirit of neighbour helping neighbour.”

“The Town of Fairview was very happy to be chosen as a site for Habitat for Humanity housing,” said Mayor Gordon McLeod, Town of Fairview. “We sincerely thank the organization and the volunteers who have been instrumental in bringing the project to completion and we congratulate the families who will be living in their new homes.”

The “hand up” by Habitat for Humanity allows partner families to build equity in a home and to discover the sense of stability in living arrangements and conditions. The interest-free mortgage payments never exceed 25 percent of the families’ household income, which means more disposable income to spend on necessities and activities for the family. A requirement of the Habitat program is that families spend 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building their own home or the homes of their neighbours, and in some cases volunteerism in the community.

The Fairview project is supported by many generous donors including the Government of Alberta, Dan and Jeanette McLachlan (who donated the land to make the project possible), as well as the Grande Prairie Catholic School District students who raised over $100,000 towards the four homes and another $35,000 to go towards Habitat homes in Grande Prairie.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Two families receive keys to the first ever Habitat for Humanity homes in Fairview.

Fairview, Alberta – Two hard-working Fairview families received keys to their Habitat for Humanity homes in the presence of supporters, volunteers and the community. These homes are the first Habitat homes in Fairview, and they came together through the diligent work of the hard-working Habitat committee in Fairview. Construction is will continue on another duplex in the New Year.

“This project has been very meaningful to everyone involved,” said Rick Nicholson, Project Manager, Friends of Habitat Edmonton – Fairview Project. “All of us on the Fairview committee thank Habitat for Humanity for lending their help and we also thank the community of Fairview for their support and the hundreds of volunteer hours that they’ve contributed to provide homes for two deserving families.”

The Government of Alberta continues to help Habitat address the need for affordable homeownership in the Province through continued support of the Habitat program.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Albertans, and we know that this can only be achieved through strong partnerships,” said Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors. “We’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in their continued efforts to bring more home ownership to Alberta’s families.”

Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, says, “The Habitat model of homeownership has been tried, tested and true everywhere in the world. It works in Honduras, Australia, Toronto and Edmonton – and it works here in Fairview too.”

“The people of Fairview have been excited to see the progress of the two duplex units in our community,” said Mayor Gordon MacLeod. “Habitat for Humanity Edmonton is commended for bringing this project to Fairview. We are grateful to all those who volunteered, donated, participated and we share joy with the four families who will have a new home. The project has been a lesson in hope and possibilities.”

The “hand up” by Habitat for Humanity allows partner families to build equity in a home and to discover the sense of stability in living arrangements and conditions. The interest-free mortgage payments never exceed 25 percent of the families’ household income, which means more disposable income to spend on necessities and activities for the family. A requirement of the Habitat program is that families spend 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building their own home or the homes of their neighbours, and in some cases volunteerism in the community.

The Fairview project is supported by many generous donors, including Dan and Jeanette McLachlan, who donated the land to make the project possible.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: It’s Ho-Ho-Home for the holidays for nine families in the largest Habitat build in Canadian history.

Edmonton, Alberta – Nine families and a large contingent of guests braved the elements to proudly receive keys to their new Habitat homes at Neufeld Landing, the largest Habitat build in Canadian history, located in Edmonton’s Rutherford community. The families will all be neighbours in a nine-plex, a first build of its kind for Habitat for Humanity in Edmonton. The new homeowners will join the 16 families who moved into their Neufeld Landing homes in September. The development has 39 homes in various stages of construction yet to be completed.

The Government of Alberta continues to help Habitat address the need for affordable homeownership in the Province through continued support of the Habitat program.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Albertans, and we know that this can only be achieved through strong partnerships,” said Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors. “We’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in their continued efforts to bring more home ownership to Alberta’s families.”

“Habitat is extremely proud of our Neufeld Landing build,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Our many donors and volunteers have made this vision a reality. We’re so pleased that another nine families will get a ‘hand up’ into ownership of a modest home with an affordable, interest-free mortgage.”

The major supporters of these nine homes are the Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton Cornerstones, ATB Financial, CGC, ENMAX, Dulux Paints, End of the Roll, Genstar Development Company, Qualico and Scotiabank.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Stony Plain family will be home for the holidays in home made possible by Sterling Homes and Habitat for Humanity.

Stony Plain, Alberta – Sterling Homes in partnership with Qualico took the lead role in providing a home to Habitat for Humanity for a Stony Plain family in need of affordable homeownership. Sterling Homes pledged to donate the home to Habitat during the 4th Annual Habitat Day in the Capital Region, and it is the third home donated to Habitat by a Qualico company.

Miles Kohan, VP, Sterling Homes, said, “Sterling Homes is thrilled to be presenting our second key to a well deserving family. Habitat for Humanity is truly a hand up not a hand out and all of us at Sterling and Qualico value our partnership with this charity. It is making a great impact on the affordable housing crisis in our communities. We understand that home ownership makes a huge impact on families giving a healthy sense of pride that spills into their communities. Sterling and Qualico are very pleased with our dedicated staff who are involved with Habitat’s team building initiatives, giving them an opportunity to work on site with habitat’s construction team as they build new dreams.”

The Government of Alberta continues to help Habitat address the need for affordable homeownership in the Province through continued support of the Habitat program.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Albertans, and we know that this can only be achieved through strong partnerships,” said Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors. “We’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in their continued efforts to bring more home ownership to Alberta’s families.”

Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, says, “The stability that the Habitat program offers to families is transformational. Amanda and Sean and Devin will notice a big change once they move into their beautiful home and get set up. Their monthly mortgage payments will be less than their rent, and every payment is equity for their family. The Habitat home ownership model works well, and will enable them to get back on their feet again.”

The “hand up” by Habitat for Humanity allows partner families to build equity in a home and to discover the sense of stability in living arrangements and conditions. The interest-free mortgage payments never exceed 25 percent of the families’ household income, which means more disposable income to spend on necessities and activities for the family. A requirement of the Habitat program is that families spend 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building their own home, the homes of their neighbours, or working in Habitat ReStores.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Habitat Day co-founder, Christenson Developments, hands over keys to a family for the fifth time in as many years.

Stony Plain, Alberta – A Stony Plain family received keys to a new Habitat home from Christenson Developments. The home builder pledged to provide a home to Habitat for Humanity during Habitat Day in the Capital Region this past April. Christenson Developments was one of three home builder companies who spearheaded the Habitat Day program back in 2010. The Stony Plain home is the fifth home they have donated in as many years.

“Christenson Developments is very proud to continue our company’s legacy of giving by donating a home to Habitat for Humanity for the fifth time in as many years,” said Peter Dirksen, VP, Christenson Developments. “We are so pleased that another hard working Edmonton family will benefit from affordable home ownership. It is truly a delight to present a family with a key and know that the future looks brighter because of programs like Habitat for Humanity.”

The Government of Alberta continues to help Habitat address the need for affordable homeownership in the Province through continued support of the Habitat program.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Albertans, and we know that this can only be achieved through strong partnerships,” said Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors. “We’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in their continued efforts to bring more home ownership to Alberta’s families.”

“The Habitat program simply changes the trajectory of families’ lives,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Our capital region citizens should be very proud to live in communities where business leaders are proactively addressing housing issues and making change possible.”

Habitat families partner with Habitat by committing to work 500 hours as the down payment for their home. Once families move in to their new home, they pay interest-free mortgage payments that are never more than 25 percent of their household income. This allows them to build equity with every payment and to allocate funds to enriching their children’s lives and providing a solid foundation for the future.

HfH Edmonton’s Blog: Dolce Vita Homes in partnership with Beaverbrook Developments donates home to Habitat for Humanity for second consecutive year.

Spruce Grove, Alberta – For the second year in a row, Dolce Vita Homes in partnership with Beaverbrook Developments has made homeownership possible for a deserving family. Last year they donated a home in Leduc and this year the home is nestled in Spruce Grove. The home was pledged during the 5th Annual Habitat Day in the Capital Region this past April, when five home builders announced they would each donate a home to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton.

“Habitat for Humanity represents a great opportunity for Dolce Vita Homes to give back to the community in which we work and live in,” said Stewart McAndrews, President, Dolce Vita Homes. “It makes the Dolce Vita family of employees, contractors and suppliers extremely proud because the program represents so many of the same family values that we believe in like stability, pride of ownership, security and strength of family. If, as a homebuilder, we can help to contribute to the growth of these values, then we not only feel obligated but honored to help the deserving families. The Habitat for Humanity model is sustainable and will help families grow economically, socially and academically for years to come. It’s a great program that touches all involved in a positive meaningful way.”

Sustainable, affordable housing is a priority for the Government of Alberta, who supports Habitat for Humanity, whose affordable home ownership model has proved to work across the province.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Albertans, and we know that this can only be achieved through strong partnerships,” said Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors. “We’re proud to support Habitat for Humanity Edmonton in their continued efforts to bring more home ownership to Alberta’s families.”

“Dolce Vita Homes and Beaverbrook Developments have been tremendous supporters of Habitat’s work in our capital region,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Over the past two years they have helped two families break the cycle of renting. As these families pay their interest-free mortgage back to Habitat, the funds will be used to build more homes in Leduc and Spruce Grove. This gift will continue to help families for many, many years to come.”

Making the transition from renting to home ownership will be a great opportunity for Landon and her son. “This is a great opportunity for us, as a full time working mom this is finally our chance to get a manageable step up and help volunteer for others in the same circumstance,” said Landon. “I’m looking forward to moving into this new home to have something stable for my son.”