Karen Stone, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, left, Shane Erickson, Qualico vice-president for Northern Alberta and Ian MacDonald, Habitat board chairman, celebrate Habitat Day on Thursday, April 25, 2019, as local homebuilders announced their support of Habitat for Humanity in the Capital Region.
Ed Kaiser / Postmedia
The keys to the first Habitat for Humanity home in Devon will be handed to its new owners this summer as part of a partnership with homebuilders in the Edmonton area.Habitat for Humanity Edmonton announced the project Thursday as part of an annual event to bring awareness to the non-profit organization’s work giving families a “hand up” into ownership. Local construction company Qualico, working with Pacesetter Homes, donated the house. It is the 33rd Habitat home to come directly from homebuilders in the last nine years.“Habitat feels blessed that many homebuilders believe in our mission and choose to work hard hand in hand with us to serve more families,” Ian MacDonald, board chairman for Habitat for Humanity, said during a news conference Thursday morning at Qualico’s office in south Edmonton.The organization started marking Habitat Day in the Edmonton area in 2010 and since then has added nearly $10 million in affordable homes through its partnerships.That spirit of neighbour helping neighbour is needed more than ever in Alberta’s trying economic times, said Shane Erickson, Qualico’s regional vice-president for northern Alberta.“It’s trying for businesses and residents alike so although it’s difficult for some of the businesses to maintain the same level of generosity they have in the past, it’s equally difficult for a lot of residents out there, so we have to balance our sense of responsibility with the tough times and we’re fortunately able to contribute this year,” Erickson said in an interview.Habitat has yet to announce who will receive the new Devon home, but others were on hand Thursday who have previously moved into homes built by community volunteers.“We got a house of our own and the payments are affordable and that’s huge,” said Christian Sanchez, who took ownership of a Habitat home five years ago.Sanchez was at the event with his son and said he wanted to encourage anyone who knows of families in need of a home to tell them about Habitat for Humanity because he said it changed his family’s life.“Having a house back then was just a dream for my wife and I, but it happened thanks to this wonderful program,” he said.