Habitat for Humanity looking for families
Habitat for Humanity has the land and the resources to build two new homes for Drumheller families, all it needs is a family to take on the project.
The Drumheller chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been successfully fundraising to build a duplex in North Drumheller. The parcel of land was donated by Albert Clark, and while they are about $20,000 away from their fundraising goal, Louise Gagne, director of regional development for Habitat for Humanity, says that fundraising is not their main obstacle.
“It isn’t about the money, it’s about families applying,” said Gagne. “We don’t have families applying and becoming eligible.” Habitat for Humanity is a unique organization. Families that apply and are accepted are able to purchase the home through a no down payment, interest-free mortgage, geared to their incomes, and a commitment of at least 500 volunteer hours to construct their home.
“Our plan was to build this last spring. We were going to break ground, build and have our families in by fall. In February we hosted an information session and we had about seven families there and we have about one that is eligible, but we are building a duplex so we need a second family,” she said.
She explains there are three main criteria. The family must demonstrate a housing need. This could be they are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on household overhead like rent and utilities. Or they could be in an unsafe housing situation.
The next criteria to meet is the ability to pay. At least one adult has to have a full-time job and be working in the community for at least two years.
“We want to be able to house local families, and offer this affordable home mortgage to local families,” she said.
The final component is the family having the time and a willingness to do the volunteer hours.
“We are not sure what the challenge is (getting families). Is there actually not a need or if the need has changed,” she said. “When we first acquired the land we understood there was a housing need for working families. During the last two or three years, the economic environment in Drumheller has changed,” she said. “The people we are inviting to apply to our houses are people who are working minimum wage jobs… because those are the people who generally aren’t making enough to save for a down payment or be able to pay for the interest of a mortgage.”
“But they are great working families and they are doing a good job of working and raising their families. Habitat is al- ways about giving that family an opportunity for the sustainability of homeownership.
For more information go to habitatsouthernab.ca./own-ahome
Habitat for Humanity is looking for families for its Drumheller housing project.