Habitat celebrates eight Calgary families entering home ownership
More than 100 community members gathered in Pineridge today for Home Dedication ceremony as part of 34th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project
On July 14, 2017, eight Calgary families became new homeowners with Habitat for Humanity in the northeast community of Pineridge. To celebrate, Habitat hosted a Home Dedication and pancake breakfast and was joined by the sponsors, donors, volunteers, future homeowners and community partners who have helped to make this project possible.
“At Habitat for Humanity, we know first-hand that many families are facing significant challenges breaking into the housing market,” said Gerrad Oishi, Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta President and CEO. “But when families feel safe and secure in a home they can call their own, everyone benefits. We’re so grateful for our community’s support in creating a sustainable affordable housing solution for families.”
These eight homes are also being dedicated as part of the 34th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which is helping to build 150 new homes across Canada for Canada’s 150th anniversary. The initiative is Habitat Canada’s biggest build project ever, and Calgary is one of 50 communities participating nationally.
Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing, was in attendance to bring greetings on behalf of the Government of Alberta, which has been a significant supporter of these homes in Pineridge. Karen McPherson, MLA Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill and Ray Jones, Ward 5 Councillor, were also in attendance.
“As a government, we’re so pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity. The work that you do to create home ownership for families is really a game-changer,” Sigurdson said. “I know how fundamental housing is to people’s well-being and I’m so pleased that our government is supporting Habitat for Humanity here in Alberta.”
Every Habitat home is the result of community support. This project has been aided by financial contributions from numerous sponsors, donors and community partners, including the Government of Alberta, Excel Homes, the Interfaith Build Project, First Calgary Financial, Rotary Club of Calgary West, CREB Charitable Foundation, the Nickle Family Foundation, Fluor, Sam Switzer and Family, proceeds from Women Build 2017, and Ride through the Rockies, presented by Star Building Materials.
“The Rotary Club of Calgary West has been a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity for many years, participating in local builds and helping to raise funds for the construction of homes,” said Bill Fitzsimmons, Director of Services and Grants at the Rotary Club of Calgary West. “The work of Habitat aligns with many of Rotary’s key areas of focus and our vision: ‘Together we see a world where people unite to take action to create lasting change, across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.’”
In addition to financial support, many tradespeople, contractors and suppliers stepped forward to offer gift-in-kind donations of materials and expert labour. And more than 1,200 volunteers have given nearly 34,000 hours to the entire Pineridge development to date.
Claude and Analicia, parents of four – Sierra, T’zion, Muronyi and Josiah – are future Habitat homeowners in Pineridge. For their family, home ownership gives hope and joy, especially knowing that the opportunity to become homeowners is the result of tremendous community support.
“This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the great people of Calgary,” Claude said. “It’s not only that you’ve given us the opportunity to have a place to call home, but it’s the smile that you put in the hearts of our children and other families in need. That happiness will stay there as long as they know they have a place to come home.”
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. 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.
These eight homes are part of a larger Habitat development of 24 homes in the community of Pineridge in Calgary. The development began in the fall of 2015 and is expected to be complete in early 2018.