The REALTORS® Community Foundation has proudly granted over half a million dollars to support Habitat for Humanity as they bring together communities to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable home ownership. The Foundation’s partnership with Habitat has resulted in creating strong stable communities for families through affordable home ownership.
For those less familiar with how Habitat for Humanity Edmonton meets their mission, here are a few quick facts:
- Families contribute 500 volunteer hours as part of their partnership with Habitat.
- During a yearlong tenancy period when families first move in, Habitat educates families about home maintenance, budgeting, insurance etc, so that they will be a successful homeowner.
- Habitat families pay affordable monthly payments that never exceed 30 percent of their income. This payment covers the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and condo/program fees.
- The average time a family is in a home is approximately 8 years. When they leave the program, their accumulated equity is given to them and provides an excellent down payment for a home on the open market. Once the family has moved, Habitat offers the home to another family.
- The Habitat ReStore is a social enterprise that accepts donations of new and used building supplies and other household items and sells them to the public. The stores divert waste from landfills and help cover Habitat’s fundraising administration costs.
The Foundation has long had a focus of supporting charities that provide shelter for families in the Edmonton Area. Even though Habitat is one of 58 Canadian affiliates, their builds, impacts and families are exclusively from Edmonton. The cost to sponsor a home is $100,000. Including our $100,000 give in 2018, the Foundation has sponsored over six homes, and has committed to a seventh over the next three years. Habitat is the Foundation’s largest beneficiary and we are proud to continue supporting their work to provide families with the opportunity to be homeowners.
Over the last year, Habitat Edmonton has changed their mortgage model to better support families and to increase the organization’s financial sustainability as they grow beyond 450 Habitat homes in Edmonton. Simply put, while keeping what families pay each month the exact same, half of their payment will be mortgaged through a bank. What does that mean and how do things change (or not)?
- Families will pay the exact same amount with the new model as the old.
- Families are eligible to gain capped market appreciation when they leave their home, putting them farther ahead.
- Families are able to build their credit history.
- Habitat will be financially equipped to build more homes to better meet the demand for Habitat homes in Edmonton.
Home ownership and all that comes with it is challenging to navigate, and for some families entering the market, it seems impossible. The work that Habitat does aligns with near perfection to that of REALTORS®, and the Foundation is proud to continue funding such important work.