Habitat for Humanity looks to move into Lacombe

Habitat for Humanity is looking to expand their project base and head into the Lacombe area.

Habitat for Humanity, an organization that works towards creating sustainable affordable housing is looking to expand their project base and head into the Lacombe area.

Executive Director Brian Blake said the not-for-profit organization would like to expand their target for building homes in the region from one-a-year to about 10 homes per year. He appeared before Lacombe County council on April 23rd to explain what the organization plans to do and their request for funding partners in order to move into the region.

“We have built around 628 total homes in Alberta,” explained Blake of the overall organization. “Well over 160 families qualified for homes in the Red Deer region.”

Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Red Deer has built around 23 homes in the area. On average, it has taken the organization around four years to complete a home.

Blake said he would like to see the building cycle accelerated to allow more families to have access to the affordable housing ownership program.

“It really is a hand up, not a hand out,” he said of the program.

Families are encouraged to invest in home ownership. To move into a Habitat for Humanity home, a down payment is not required and as homeowners pay mortgage payments, the payments go towards building more homes in the community.

On average, each family stays in a Habitat for Humanity built home for five to seven years. Once the family moves out, a new low-income family would move in. Each Habitat for Humanity home remains in the cycle, always acting as a home for a family in need within the community.

Blake said due to the lack of provincial funding for this year, the organization will be short funds and will be looking for stakeholder partners to get several projects off the ground.

Habitat For Humanity Red Deer has also approached the City of Lacombe, indicating a desire to begin a project within the City as early as this summer.

Blake noted Habitat for Humanity has requested for the City to fund six lots in order to create three duplexes in the McKenzie Ranch subdivision.

Lacombe County councillors accepted the presentation as information and will make a decision regarding funding at a later council date.