Pro­gram makes buy­ing a home more af­ford­able

Fam­i­lies get break on down pay­ment

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - AN­DREA COX

For first-time buy­ers Stephen Korkoya and Marie Razafi­arisoa achiev­ing home own­er­ship is a long awaited dream come true. But thanks to an ini­tia­tive spear­headed by At­tain­able Homes Cal­gary Corp. (AHCC), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal Cal­gary builder Tru­man Homes, the cou­ple, along with their eight-year-old daugh­ter, Grace, re­cently ac­cepted the keys to their new West­bury Park three-bed­room town­home in West Springs on Cal­gary’s cov­eted west side.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing day for me and my fam­ily be­cause own­ing a place is won­der­ful,” said Korkoya, adding that they had been want­ing to pur­chase a home for a while. “But com­ing up with the money to pay the down pay­ment is some­thing that’s very hard to do.”

With help from the AHCC home­own­er­ship pro­gram, the cou­ple, who had been rent­ing a home in Wood­bine, was able to fast-track the process with a small down pay­ment.

De­signed to bridge the hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity gap, AHCC, a non­profit owned by the City of Cal­gary, has cat­a­pulted more than 500 Cal­gary fam­i­lies into home own­er­ship in over 12 dif­fer­ent de­vel­op­ments through­out the city. And all since its in­cep­tion in 2011. AHCC part­ners with lo­cal builders (cur­rently there are seven par­tic­i­pat­ing), of­fer­ing homes at much lower than mar­ket value to those who qual­ify, while sub­si­diz­ing the down pay­ment. Through the pro­gram, qual­i­fied buy­ers can pur­chase a new home with a de­posit as low as $2,000.

Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi, who is a di­rec­tor of At­tain­able Homes Cal­gary, along with Ward 6 Coun. Richard Poot­mans, pre­sented the fam­ily with the keys.

“As the price of hous­ing in­creases in our com­mu­nity, as the price of mar­ket rent in­creases in our com­mu­nity, giv­ing peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to build their own eq­uity is re­ally im­por­tant,” said Nen­shi.

And adding fuel to the fire, a hot job mar­ket and a fiery econ­omy are cre­at­ing un­prece­dented pop­u­la­tion growth.

“That is dif­fi­cult for a city to ab­sorb,” said Poot­mans, not­ing that col­lab­o­ra­tion with the de­vel­op­ment in­dus­try is a big part of the so­lu­tion go­ing for­ward.

The fam­ily’s new home is part of a col­lec­tion of 54 two-storey, three­bed­room, front at­tached garage town­homes.

“It’s beyond what I was ex­pect­ing. I love it,” said Korkoya.

Gran­ite coun­ter­tops, stain­less steel ap­pli­ances and con­tem­po­rary de­tails are just some of the fea­tures in­cluded in the West­bury Park town­homes.

Coun. Richard Poot­mans, left, and Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi, right, greeted Stephen Korkoya, Marie Razafi­arisoa and daugh­ter Grace.

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