Amy and her daughter, Isabelle, lived in low-income housing in Grande Prairie, Alberta. The longer Amy spent in her apartment, the more she realized it was not where she wanted to raise Isabelle. The apartment was unsafe: broken kitchen tiles and a moldy bathroom were a few things making life difficult. Amy longed to live in a home where Isabelle had space to run and play and be a child. Amy desperately wanted a change, however, alternative living situations were unaffordable. Expensive rent and down payments prevented them for the change they needed. Improving their living situation seemed less realistic each day.
Everything changed for Amy when she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting in November. Although she was thrilled at the idea of a better job and more income, Amy knew that she would no longer qualify for her low-income home. And yet, an apartment and homeownership was still out of her reach. Amy was scared, and didn’t know how she was going to find an affordable home for her daughter.
A few years prior, Amy’s friend had purchased a Habitat home. She didn’t think that the opportunity would be available for her; however, her friend encouraged her to apply. Wasting no time, Amy visited hfh.org. Scrolling through the available homes, she was thrilled to see one available in Grande Prairie, and best of all, the home was just down the street from her friend! She filled out an application, but quickly found herself feeling anxious.
Amy’s friend, having applied before, understood why Amy was anxious and tried to put her at ease. She repeatedly told Amy to stop worrying, certain that her friend would soon be her neighbor, but even with her friend’s support, Amy remained nervous.
“I remember thinking, ‘if I get this home, it would be so great,’” said Amy. “We won’t have to live in an apartment or basement anymore. Our lives would be so awesome.”
As it turns out, Amy didn’t need to worry. Waking up one morning, she was speechless to find an email with good news – she would soon be a homeowner! Moving day couldn’t come soon enough, and in April of 2022, Amy and Isabelle set foot in their home for the first time.
The moving experience was a blur, and although Amy doesn’t remember much, she does recall feeling safe and secure. She and Isabelle are now settled, and Amy notes that there are almost too many positives about their home to count. They have a backyard where Isabelle plays and a garage for Amy to safely park her car. Their neighbourhood has plenty of other families so Isabelle is always playing with other children, and Amy is confident sending her daughter outside to play.
Amy and Isabelle now enjoy three bedrooms. A full basement and a large kitchen provide plenty of space and privacy. Isabelle can invite her friends over and, with the extra space, they can store their bikes in the garage and stay for a sleepover. Amy has noticed that Isabelle is generally happier.
The home offers Amy peace of mind. She feels safe and comfortable, and enjoys the stability of homeownership without fear of increases in rent or needing to suddenly move. This home is her own, and she can change and decorate it how she wants. All the extra space provides Amy with the chance to start new hobbies, and she is looking forwards to planting a garden and a flower bed.
Amy cannot recommend Habitat homeownership enough. She shares with everyone how Habitat has offered her independence and has provided a hand-up when homeownership seemed like a distant dream.