Family thrilled with new residence sponsored by community
By TARINA WHITE, SUN MEDIA
Eight low-income Calgary families have realized the dream of home ownership, thanks to Habitat for Humanity, which gave them a tour of their new digs yesterday.
It was an emotional day for Marsha and Larry Flamond, who have long wanted to provide a stable home for their two young children.
The couple, who currently live in a home subsidized by the Metis Urban Housing Corp., will move into their newly constructed Mayland Heights duplex in a few weeks.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers built the home — as well as seven others along 16 St. N.E. — and the families receive a boost in the form of an interest-free mortgage with no down payment.
“This is a dream come true for us — it’s just going to change our lives completely,” said Marsha.
“We’ve been in subsidized housing for a few years now — it’s almost like once you get in, it’s hard to get out.”
The couple’s 11-year-old son, Robert, and eight-year-old daughter, Judy, have already picked their bedrooms.
“It’s very exciting because it’s the first home that we own,” said Robert.
Added Judy: “It’s ours to keep forever.”
The Ismaili Muslim Community of Calgary sponsored the construction of the eight new homes through Habitat for Humanity, said president Nashir Samanani.
“This initiative is a reflection of our commitment to eliminating poverty in society — one of the core principles of Islam,” he said, adding 600 members of the Ismaili community worked on the homes. Funding has also been provided by the province, the corporate community and other individuals.
The housing development is named Golden Jubilee Gardens, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the leadership of Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community.