Home in South Edmonton.

Kadra is ecstatic about her new life at Neufeld Landing, a Habitat development in south Edmonton. She is married to Abdul, and they have two children: Tasleem, their 9-year old daughter, and Hamdi, their 5-year old son. She spoke about family walks, getting to know the neighbourhood, and having great family discussions over food grilled on the BBQ. At their apartment, barbecuing wasn’t possible, but now they can enjoy it all summer long. Also, both Tasleem and Hamdi are avid swimmers who feel at home in water.

Before Habitat, Kadra and Abdul found themselves in a similar situation to many families in Edmonton: trying unsuccessfully to save for a down payment due to high rent costs and other factors. Kadra and Abdul found themselves yearning for a better life without any means of making that life a reality. There was no foreseeable exit from the apartment they had been renting for eight years.

Abdul had a friend whose family was living in a Habitat house, and his friend encouraged them to apply. Kadra and Abdul were both working parents who really wanted to own THEIR OWN HOME. They had little hope that they would be accepted into the program, but they applied any way. Kadra recalled the day they received the call from Habitat Edmonton:

“You have no idea! I was so excited when they told me that they had a house for us! I asked Habitat, ‘are you sure we are accepted?’ We set up an appointment to meet and I didn’t sleep the whole week until we met with them. I called my husband and was screaming on the phone! We’re in! We got a home!”

Kadra was excited to start her 500 hours of volunteering, but some of it was postponed due to COVID-19; however, there was an opportunity to deliver flyers for Habitat, so her and her kids pounced on the opportunity.

“Home ownership is peace of mind,” said Kadra. “Not worrying about getting kicked out, no rent raises, or wasting my money… I can stay in this Habitat house as long as I want and I’m building equity.”

Kadra was speechless when she walked into her home for the first time. She said that words escaped her. She was overjoyed because it was her first home.

“My son was the most excited; he couldn’t run around in our apartment,” said Kadra. “When we moved in, the first thing he did was run around the entire house. He said, ‘Mom, are you going to stop me from running?’ I told him, no! Go!”

Kadra and Abdul thank the many people who made it possible for them to own a home.

She said, “My husband and I couldn’t even have imagined a house like this, but Habitat transformed our lives 100 percent.”