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How your support is helping one family rise above the housing crisis

Posted by Joy Harrington on Jun 3, 2024 1:04:49 PM

Future homeowner Mildred walks in Calgary's Edworthy Park with her 3 teenage children


"Saving for a down payment was like chasing a carrot on a stick – save a tiny bit, but then the house prices skyrocket,” Mildred explained, as one of thousands of families impacted by the rise in housing prices and interest rates. 

Keep reading to learn how affordable homeownership is giving families like Mildred's the opportunity to rise above the housing crisis and build brighter futures. 

Four years ago, Mildred found herself supporting three children on a single income, one with special needs, while also providing financial assistance to her aging parents.

Saving for a down payment took a backseat and made her aspiration of owning a safe and stable home a distant dream. 


Over the course of four years, the family moved twice, living in three different places. The first move was into a small apartment. The apartment tested their resilience with lack of laundry and noise from neighbours’ parties blasting through the walls.

The family of four was overcrowded in the small space, prompting Mildred to seek a brighter horizon. Eventually, she found a duplex with enough space for each child to have their own room, marking a small but significant improvement in their living conditions. This accommodation came with it's own complications including the need for extra heaters during the winter.

However, after two years the landlord decided to sell the house, which thrust them into uncertainty once again.

“How could anyone plan for the future when you don’t know where you and your family will be living next year? Not having stability affects us financially, but also affects our mental health.”



Their lives were disrupted by three months of viewings – a stark reminder of their unstable situation and that this house was not their own. Once the house was sold, the new landlords informed Mildred that to break even on their mortgage, they would be raising her rent by $1,000 per month.

This increase in rent drove Mildred to find a permanent housing solution for her family.

Shortly into her search, Mildred was reminded of Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and the affordable homeownership program that she learned about while attending SAIT years before, and applied as a potential solution to her family's "precarious living situation." The constant upheaval they have faced will finally come to a restful end as they achieve the milestone of homeownership in 2024.

For Mildred and her family, homeownership means more than a roof over their heads. It represents rising from uncertainty to the heights of freedom — something that didn’t seem possible half a decade ago.  

“Homeownership means freedom. Freedom from the stress and fear of not knowing if homelessness would be around the corner."



The opportunity for Mildred and her family to see their home being built (photo above of Mildred in front of her future home) and participate in the construction themselves is “a great opportunity for us to give more value and appreciation to the place we will call home.”

They envision the walls they will decorate, the tree they will plant, and the memories they will create. “Home means family, safety, belonging, peace,” Mildred said, “and after we move into our Habitat home, home will also mean stability.”

This story is more than a family finding a home; it’s about resilience, overcoming challenges and a community rising together to build permanent, affordable housing solutions for local families.

You can make a difference in the lives of families like Mildred's achieve long-term success and put down roots in their community. 



Topics: Family Story