Habitat for Humanity celebrates completion of six new affordable homes in Bowness
Habitat for Humanity recently celebrated the completion of six new homes in Bowness that will provide affordable home ownership opportunities to six Calgary families.
“At Habitat, we know how difficult it is for families to break into the housing market,” said Gerrad Oishi, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. “That’s why we’re committed to working with our community to provide affordable home ownership opportunities for families. We’re so thankful for every sponsor, donor, community partner and volunteer who has stepped up to make affordable home ownership opportunities possible for six families in Bowness.”
Lori Sigurdson, Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing, attended Habitat’s home dedication event on Oct. 20 to deliver greetings on behalf of the Government of Alberta, which has been a significant supporter of the Bowness builds. Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever was also in attendance, along with many of the project’s sponsors, donors and volunteers.
“That’s the cool thing about Habitat, is that it’s about community – everybody working together to create game-changing opportunities for these families,” said Sigurdson. “Our government is so proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity; we have a shared goal of creating more affordable housing in our province. I’m very proud to work with you and appreciate everything Habitat is doing.”
Every Habitat home is the result of community support. The Bowness project was aided by financial contributions from numerous sponsors, donors and community partners, including the Government of Alberta, the CREB® Charitable Foundation, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) and Hockey Helps the Homeless.
“It is humbling for the foundation to have been a part of this incredible build,” said Aneve MacKay-Lyons, CREB® Charitable Foundation manager. “Our REALTOR® members are at the forefront of everything we do and it is great to see their hands-on volunteer hours and our donation make a measurable difference to our community and working families.”
“Our REALTOR® members are at the forefront of everything we do and it is great to see their hands-on volunteer hours and our donation make a measurable difference to our community and working families.” – Aneve MacKay-Lyons, CREB® Charitable Foundation manager
The CREB® Charitable Foundation donated $50,000 towards the Bowness build and AREF provided a matching $50,000 grant. This is the second collaborative build these three organizations have worked on together.
“We are proud to join forces with the CREB® Charitable Foundation on such a worthwhile project and support the wonderful work of Habitat for Humanity,” said Charlie Ponde, AREF chair. “Congratulations to the families on your new home and all of the memories that it will soon house.”
In addition to financial support, many tradespeople, contractors and suppliers stepped forward to offer donations of building materials and expert labour, while providing nearly 14,000 volunteer hours. Susan, mother to Judah and Hope, is a future Habitat homeowner in Bowness. For her family, home ownership brings hope to their lives, knowing that anything is possible.
“My children can have stability in their lives and will have a strong start on their journey towards successful living,” said Susan. “I am excited to dream new dreams with my children – to develop new skills, meet new people and to help and serve others in the same way.”
Each Habitat homeowner has contributed 500 volunteer hours as part of their partnership, and will purchase their homes at fair market value through Habitat’s affordable mortgage, which means no down payment and no interest. Mortgage payments will be geared toward each family’s’ income and will never exceed 30 per cent of their total household income. This gives parents financial flexibility and the ability to build long-term stability for their children.
The six homes in Bowness are one of five Habitat developments in the community. Future developments include a four-plex, scheduled for completion in January 2018, and three five-plexes, scheduled for completion by January 2019.