Habitat for Humanity Red Deer is preparing its first ever build in Sylvan Lake.
The first steps to the build, which has a planned ceremonial ground breaking in the beginning of October, is to give as much information to the public as possible. Two information sessions were held for the public in September, both of which were well attended.
At the most recent session, held on Sept. 19 at the NexSource Centre, around eight families were in attendance looking for further information about the build and process.
Karen Vavrek, Habitat for Humanity Red Deer’s CEO, said for a town the size of Sylvan Lake having around eight families initially show interest is a good thing.
“With a new project like this it is good to see there is an initial interest and need. As we continue and word of mouth continues to spread we feel interest will continue to grow,” Vavrek said in a recent phone interview.
Since the project was announced, Habitat for Humanity has garnered a fair bit of interest from Sylvan Lake, from those interested in volunteering and those looking to apply for a home.
Already, Habitat for Humanity Red Deer has received a handful of applications. Vavrek says those who have already applied are in the preliminary stages of screening.
There is a number of different criteria a family needs to have to successfully apply with Habitat for Humanity.
The family must have a need for “decent, affordable shelter,” the ability to pay back the mortgage as well as be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity Red Deer by putting in 500 hours of sweat equity before signing a purchase agreement.
“We work with all different family make-ups and structures,” Vavrek said. “We do require the family have at least one child in the home who is under the age of 18.”
Vavrek is unsure how many applications will come in for the project, as this is the first Habitat for Humanity project done in Sylvan Lake.
Habitat for Humanity Red Deer chose to begin a build after looking at a number of different factors, including the feasibility and need within the community.
“We did our research and spoke to many people about the low-income housing situation in Sylvan Lake. We looked at a number of different communities in Central Alberta and decided Sylvan was in the best interest of everyone,” Vavrek said.
Habitat for Humanity Red Deer worked in partnership with Melcor Developments to purchase land to build a triplex in Vista at Rider’s Ridge.
When planning for a new build, Vavrek says they look at expenses while also helping the largest number of families possible.
In the past Habitat for Humanity Red Deer has built duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, all of which help multiple families.
“We always look to help as many families as possible in the most affordable way,” Vavrek said.
Vavrek says there has been many indicators of early support, including those looking to volunteer on the build. Habitat for Humanity homes are built largely by volunteers with trades people on hand to oversee and do the more skilled work.
Vavrek says the plan is to have shovels in the ground in November, with the build completed late next summer or early fall.
“Habitat builds often take a little bit longer to complete because the rely heavily on volunteers. Generally a build like this will take eight to 10 months to complete,” Vavrek said.
Those looking to volunteer their time, as individuals or part of a team, can email Vavrek for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org