Habitat’s largest townhome project set for Silver Springs

Habitat for Humanity is launching Silvercreek, its biggest project ever in Southern Alberta — a $9-million, 32-unit condo development in Silver Springs.

The multi-family approach is part of Habitat’s ongoing fight against rising housing costs and its mission to make secure home ownership available to families in “precarious” living conditions at a target price of around $270,000; something a family earning $40,000 a year can afford on a 35-year, interest-free mortgage.

“The days of building single-family housing in Calgary are kind of behind us,” Laura Dickson of Habitat told reporters at a launch announcement Nov. 30. Habitat provides zero-interest mortgages with no down payment and maximum monthly payments fixed at 25 per cent of family income.

Habitat aims to help families escape the unstable existence — including constant uncertainty and frequent forced moves — that results from having to spend more than 40 per cent of their income for shelter and that often forces them to choose between paying the rent and buying groceries.

The Silver Springs townhome project will consist of four eight-plex condo buildings, the first to be completed before Christmas of 2019, Dickson says. Remaining units are to be available by the end of 2020. Each will be a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath arrangement on 1,100 square feet, providing maximum flexibility for families.

Nichole (last name withheld) is a survivor of domestic violence and a mother of “three great kids,” who purchased a Habitat home in 2016 and who spoke to the crowd of about 60 people at the Silver Springs launch event at the headquarters of the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

After leaving her husband, Nichole managed to secure a diploma and a job “that was a turning point for the positive.” But she and her kids continued to live an uncertain existence due to an inability to rent or buy a place to live at a cost she could afford.

“We had to move nine times,” she recalls. “I just wasn’t able to meet the expectations of the banks” in order to qualify for a mortgage. “That’s why Habitat means so much to me.”

Initially, she says, she was reluctant to apply to Habitat because “we had heard ‘no’ so many times.” But friends and family urged her to apply. They rallied to write letters of support to Habitat and she was quickly approved.

“It really was a dream come true,” she says.

Funding partners for the Silver Springs project include the CREB Charitable Foundation and the Calgary Foundation, each of which contributed $1 million. The next Habitat information session for prospective home owners will be held Dec. 13 at the Habitat office, 210-805 Manning Road N.E. For information, call 403-253-9331.

Habitat’s Southern Alberta branch was founded in 1990 and has so far built more than 230 homes in the region. By repurchasing and reselling Habitat homes when owners move on, Dickson says, Habitat has helped more than 300 Southern Alberta families become homeowners.

from Calgary Herald https://ift.tt/2RMZKnz

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