Habitat for Humanity Red Deer is on track to build four new homes in Blackfalds.
The non-profit organization hosted a groundbreaking ceremony this week on Vista Trail. The homes will be the 39th to 42nd units the group has built in central Alberta and the first in Blackfalds.
Development and communications co-ordinator Dallas Green said it’s “extremely” exciting to break ground in a new community.
“It’s kind of a build of firsts for us. It’s not only our first build in Blackfalds, but it’s also our first accessible unit,” Green said following the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Our accessible unit has larger doorways, stair ramps, stairlifts, lower countertops, an accessible tub – all of that stuff to make life a lot easier” for those with mobility challenges.
The theme of the event was “Building up Youth,” because the ceremony was held on International Youth Day. Many of the children who will be living in the homes were on hand to put the first shovels into the ground.
Families have been selected for three of the four homes.
“We want to make sure that central Alberta is feeling supported and that they have access to affordable homes,” she said.
“Our whole philosophy is that we give families a hand up and not a handout. We don’t just provide families with homes, they work hard for them. They put in 500 hours of sweat equity just to be able to qualify for these homes, and from there, they pay back an affordable mortgage every month.”
A family is still being sought for the accessible unit.
“We’ve changed the criteria a bit for that one, just because we want to make sure that it is going to families who need it,” she said.
“If anybody is looking for an accessible home, they can visit our website (www.habitatreddeer.ca). It’s got all of our criteria, and if they believe they fit the bill, then contact our family services manager.”
All four units will be built to meet energy efficiency requirements. The Built Green program addresses seven areas of sustainability: energy and envelope, materials and methods, indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water conservation and building practices.
Green said Habitat for Humanity Red Deer hopes the homes are finished by July 31, 2021.