EXCITING PROJECT - Local Habitat for Humanity reps, dignitaries and the benefiting families gathered Thursday for the official sod turning of the latest Habitat build in Aspen Ridge. Mark Weber/Red Express

WATCH: New Habitat for Humanity builds in Red Deer launched

Organization has 130 families on the waiting list for new homes

Two Red Deer families will have brand new homes this fall thanks to new builds by Habitat for Humanity.

An official sod turning was held Thursday at the location – #4 and #6, Adamson Avenue in the Aspen Ridge subdivision.

“We are really delighted to see so many people turn out on this bright but chilly sunny day,” said Karen Vavrek, local Habitat for Humanity CEO. “On behalf of Habitat staff and our board of directors, I’m really excited to welcome all of you here as we commence our newest build project here at Aspen Ridge.”

Vavrek said it’s been a successful season for the local Habitat chapter of late, with having four duplexes built in Lacombe.

“We are really excited to be back building in Red Deer again – this is the area where we have the greatest need for affordable housing, and with 130 families on the wait list, Red Deer is where we need to be building.”

New homeowners Jessica and August Rodriguez, and Johnathon, Archana, Trinity and Nathan Brown, were on hand for the sod turning as well.

“This has been a dream of ours since my wife and I have been together,” said Johnathon. “This has given us the one dream that we didn’t think we could do,” he added. “We didn’t think we could make enough to get our own house, and Habitat has given us that opportunity.”

Vavrek pointed out that the duplex will house Habitat’s 34th and 35th families since the organization’s inception locally.

“This is why we are here today – to help make the dream of affordable home ownership become a reality for Central Alberta families,” she said.

“Over the next eight months or so, these families will be working extremely hard alongside many Habitat volunteers to fulfill their 500 hours of sweat equity as they help to construct their future homes,” she explained.

“Any project this big certainly cannot be completed without several people pitching in and helping out,” she said. “Over the coming months, there will be volunteers to recruit, funds to raise, community partners to engage, safety protocol to manage, schedules to juggle, hammers to swing and walls to raise up – you get the idea.

“We begin the journey today, and we hope that you will all help along the way, and are here this coming fall when the Browns and the Rodriguez families walk through the front doors of their new homes for the very first time,” she said.

Mayor Tara Veer said she wanted to, “Publicly commend and thank Habitat for Humanity for their leadership in once again providing new homes, and most importantly, helping two families realize their dreams of building their homes and becoming homeowners. We can’t thank you enough for ensuring that Red Deer is part of the international effort of Habitat for Humanity in making home ownership accessible.”

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