OPPORTUNITY - Jancee and Keely Hawthorne moved into their new Habitat for Humanity home in Lacombe in July. Habitat recently announced their new build project in Red Deer in the Aspen Heights neighbourhood. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

New build announced for Habitat for Humanity

Red Deer’s Aspen Heights neighbourhood slated for new project

Habitat for Humanity recently announced their new build project in Red Deer.

The build, which was announced coinciding with World Habitat Day, will be in the southeast neighbourhood of Aspen Heights.

“It has been three years since we have done a build in Red Deer,” CEO Karen Vavrek said. “We are happy to start with this duplex and we hope it is the start of many more projects to come.”

The project starts on the heels of the completion of Habitat’s latest build in Lacombe, which gave a new home to Jancee and Keely Hawthorne.

“For me and my daughter, we have never owned a home for the last 25 years,” she said. “This has been a joy, this is a blessing and and we love it. We love Habitat.”

Jancee and her family put in 500 hours of sweat equity on their home, which awarded her with a no down-payment, interest-free mortgage.

“It is a whole new world,” Jancee said. “It is a whole new chapter. It is joy and happiness. It is someone taking a chance and reaching out to me and I want to be able to keep doing that as well.”

According to Vavrek, Red said the need for affordable housing in Red Deer is tremendous.

“We have had many families who have applied and we have 135 families on our wait list,” she said.

Vavrek explained since the need is so great, the need for volunteers and donations grows.

“We are always looking for donations of time, money and materials,” she said. “We often have companies provide a team of staff to come and participate on a group build day. You can volunteer as a company, you can volunteer as an individual. We are always looking for donations of building materials. We have many build partners. We are looking to partner with more companies.

“We are also looking for gifts of time. We are looking for professionals who can provide their expertise to build a habitat home. It is a great legacy for them to leave behind.”

The new duplex build in Aspen Heights will be completed in eight to 10 months and the family chosen will go through a rigorous selection process.

“There are a number of criteria we apply and those are important and sometimes very difficult decisions we have to make given the great need and small amount of resources,” Vavrek said.

Habitat, which has housed 33 families in 23 years in Central Alberta, also announced the expansion of their ReStore facility which serves the needs of the builds.

Hawthorne added, “Hopefully we give back to our community as much as we have been blessed.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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