Family of 6 receives their first home thanks to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton

Habitat for Humanity Edmonton celebrated a handful of local families on Monday as they received a chance to start over and rebuild their families’ futures thanks to affordable housing.

A six-home project in north Edmonton is now complete and landscaping will follow later on in the summer.

The government of Alberta’s contribution of $600,000 through a provincial grant has helped local families prosper. One of those families is Reier Hendricks, his wife and four children, who have moved into their first home after over two decades of struggle and hardship.

Read more: How Habitat for Humanity is pivoting to make affordable housing a possibility

“It felt like we were in somebody else’s home for a while — it took a couple weeks for us to realize this is real,” Hendricks said.

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“This is permanent. This is something we have wanted forever but were never able to manage.”

Hendricks is living with multiple sclerosis. His wife struggles with mental health issues and their children all have different disabilities. Along the way, the family has moved many times due to a lack of income and decent housing.

“We ended up in subsidized housing,” Hendricks said.

“One place we were in, the walls were just covered on the inside with black mould to the point where it was starting to show through the walls.”

After finding out about the Habitat for Humanity program two years ago, the Hendricks family applied, was approved and now gets a chance to restart their life. Habitat for Humanity Edmonton CEO Ann-Marie Reddy said she is thrilled the six-home development is finally completed.

“Our partner families come into a Habitat home where they are building strength,” she said.

“We are focused with setting them up for success so when they are ready to sell their Habitat (home) back to us, we are then able to take that home and give it to another deserving family, and then our families move into the open market and buy their own home.”

Since 1991, the community-based organization has helped over 750 families thrive thanks to affordable housing.

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“Your home should be your safe space,” said Reddy.

“That’s the atmosphere that we are trying to create in the communities (where) we are building Habitat homes.”

Read more: Habitat for Humanity GTA looking for volunteers in Durham

If you know a family that might be eligible, there is a new home available on the Habitat for Humanity website. Families that apply must have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, a good credit rating and make an income of between $35,000 and $65,000.

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