Affordable Homeownership for Aboriginal Families
Thanks to an innovative partnership between Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC), Habitat for Humanity Edmonton and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), five Aboriginal families in Edmonton became homeowners, and older housing stock was retrofitted.
“This program is going to have a huge impact on our ability to meet the demands and the needs of the growing population,” said Darlene Lennie of MCHC.
MCHC provided five homes that required significant renovations and leased the land in perpetuity to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, with the understanding that Habitat would either renovate or build a new house and place a Métis family into that home.
The five homes were renovated or rebuilt by a team of community volunteers and the partner families, under the supervision of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. CMHC provided a full-time staff resource to the Habitat for Humanity Aboriginal Housing Program.
“Changing that rental property into homeownership affects the family drastically,” added Alfred Nikolai, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “It is an investment for their children’s future. The monthly payment comes to Habitat for Humanity, and we pledge to use that money to build more affordable housing for the Métis association.”
One of the new residents agrees with the benefits of homeownership. “Owning my own home allows me to pass on a legacy to my boys. It means security; it means stability and a higher level of comfort in knowing that this is their place, their home.”
Since 2007, CMHC has worked with Habitat for Humanity through its Aboriginal Housing Program on projects across Canada. To date, the program has helped over 30 Aboriginal families to become homeowners.