When Wendy reflects on life before she owned her Habitat home, she can hardly believe how much has changed. When she first came to Canada and settled in Edson, finding an affordable home was difficult. Wendy ended up sharing not just an apartment, but a bed with her aunt for six long years. Eventually, Wendy moved into a basement suite after marrying her husband, Alexander, and they had their first child. The basement suite was a large, empty room, where all three family members shared a foam mattress and slept close at night when the heater wasn’t working.
When Wendy found out she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband knew their family needed a safe and stable place to live, but thought that owning a home wasn’t possible. After all, she knew many families who lived in Canada for decades and still didn’t own a home. One day everything changed when Wendy saw an ad for Habitat homeownership and discovered she was eligible. Although not expecting a response, Wendy submitted her application and moved on with the busyness of her day. She was determined not to get her hopes up but remained excited at the idea of being a homeowner. It wasn’t until a week later when she learned she was approved that Wendy realized owning a home was possible for her family.
Ten days after Wendy gave birth to her second child and months after she applied for Habitat homeownership, she held the keys to her home in her hand.
“I remember telling Alexander that this was the first key that was my own,” said Wendy. “Even in the Philippines we didn’t own our home.”
Moving in with a newborn and a one-year-old had its challenges, but eventually, the family settled into their Habitat home. Wendy’s oldest son enjoyed crawling around their home, something he couldn’t do in their small basement suite. Now that her children have grown older, they run around outside and play as loudly as they like without Wendy worrying about disturbing the neighbours.
Wendy enjoys cooking in her own kitchen. In her rentals she had to ask permission to use the shared facilities. She now decorates her home exactly how she likes. A big fan of the holidays, Wendy decorated her home for Halloween in September, days after they moved into the house. Her holidays are filled with happiness and memories.
Wendy is grateful for Habitat. She struggles to imagine her children’s future without their home and is relieved to know they will never need to live in an unsafe or unstable home. She encourages everyone in her life to consider Habitat homeownership, reminding them that owning a home creates a pathway to generational change.