October 3, 2016 11:44 am
Updated: October 3, 2016 7:30 pm

Alberta government partners with Habitat for Humanity, former US president on new project

WATCH ABOVE: Habitat for Humanity will celebrate Canada's 150th birthday next year by building 150 homes across the country. As Sarah Kraus reports, half of those homes will be built in Edmonton.


Habitat for Humanity has partnered with the Alberta government, alongside the Carter Work Project, to build 75 new affordable homes for Alberta families.

The project will be based in the Laurel neighbourhood in southeast Edmonton, with the province providing $4.1 million to partially fund the project. The city is donating the land for 58 of the homes.

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“Affordable and safe housing is integral to our city,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “It is essential to the well-being of individuals and our communities. Edmonton is proud to be chosen as the key Canadian location for this international project that will see thousands of volunteers come together to build dozens of new homes in our city.”

This is Habitat’s biggest build project ever and will take place in every province and territory across the country with a total of 150 homes built. Former U. S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife will be focusing their efforts in Edmonton and Winnipeg. The development in Laurel will be names Carter Place, in their honour.

“While Canada is known for having a high standard of living, housing affordability is at an all-tome low. We have 1.6 million Canadians, including many indigenous Canadians, who are in need of a safe, decent, affordable place to call home,” the former President said.

The Carters are expected to take part in the build in Edmonton July 9 to 12, 2017.

Premier Rachel Notley and Mayor Don Iveson, as well as Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Alfred Nikolai, were at Monday’s announcement at city hall.

“This government is making significant capital investments in affordable housing,” Notley said. “Working with community partners such as Habitat for Humanity ensures more Albertans can live in safe and affordable homes.”

16 of the homes will be built in Fort Saskatchewan, while the rest will be in Edmonton.

READ MORE: Watch Live: Habitat for Humanity announce build with former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter 

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that aims to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing while promoting homeownership as a way to break the cycle of poverty.

“These are homes that provide families with the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life,” Mark Rodgers, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity, said.

Habitat homes are built by volunteers and donors and sold to qualifying families. Recipient families will spend 500 hours volunteering on Habitat build sites as their down payment. The organization then holds the mortgage of the home for as many years as necessary to ensure families use no more than 25 per cent of their income for housing. This ensures that the homes are affordable.

Construction began earlier this year and will be completed in 2018, housing around 300 people.

In any given day, there are around 60 volunteers building houses in Edmonton for Habitat for Humanity. This project will require even more manpower. When the Carters are here – the city expects to see 1,300 people on site in Laurel daily. About 1,000 will be international volunteers drawn in to help with the Carters.

According to Habitat’s website, one in seven households, including 735,000 children, do not have a decent and affordable place to call home in Canada.

October 3 is World Habitat Day; a time to reflect on the state of communities and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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