Home Ownership Dream a Reality for Former CHC Tenant
Support and guidance from Attainable Homes home ownership program helps mom and her kids make the move
On February 21, Rundle Manor tenant Sintayehu Assefa got the keys to her brand new home. Assefa’s move into home ownership comes about after she connected with resources presented to Calgary Housing Company (CHC) tenants following the announcement of the 2021 closure of CHC’s Rundle Manor.
In July 2019, CHC notified Rundle Manor tenants about plans to begin redeveloping the property in 2021. To ensure that tenants were supported through the process, CHC provided a variety of supports including reduced rent and information about home ownership for interested tenants.
Opportunities for Home Ownership (OHO) is an ongoing series of seminars for CHC tenants where local agencies and organizations provide information to tenants exploring new housing options. Partners have included organizations like The City’s Attainable Homes program, Habitat for Humanity, Momentum, Money Mentors and others.
In September 2019, CHC offered an open house style OHO session for Rundle Manor tenants interested in home ownership opportunities, that included support with financial management. The event also included the launch of a pilot partnership with Attainable Homes and Scotiabank supporting tenants’ efforts to save towards home ownership by using the money saved from their Rundle Manor rent reduction to put towards the down payment of a home through Attainable Homes.
For Assefa, the timing was perfect. She had looked into the Attainable Homes program in the past, but at the time her budget was too tight. Now, with her personal finances more stable and empowered with some savings, Attainable Homes worked for her. She was even able to find a home in a nearby neighbourhood so her kids won’t have to change schools.
Assefa says CHC helped make home ownership possible by being very accommodating throughout the process. Because of the information and flexibility provided, she says she was able to purchase the right home at the right time. But it was the underlying stability that got her to a place where she was ready to buy.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Calgary Housing Company for giving me a chance to raise my children in stable home," she says. "I can’t thank you enough for supporting me through my hardships. My children and I will be forever grateful."
CHC has delivered the Opportunities for Home Ownership (OHO) program to tenants for almost 5 years, with many successful transitions to home ownership through organizations like Attainable Homes and Habitat for Humanity, and through the private market with support from financial literacy and empowerment programs offered by organizations like Momentum and Money Mentors.
“The tenant education sessions provide an opportunity for tenants to look forward in their lives. To be introduced to opportunities that they might not have thought about or thought would be possible for them.” says Angela Coulter, CHC Partnership Coordinator. “By combining the information from complimentary organizations, tenants can see that there is hope to budget, save, restore their credit and work towards a realistic goal of home ownership.”
Assefa reiterates the importance of community supports in her success story. "Without the community" she says, "this would not have been possible."
She also stresses the importance of good credit and having finances in order enough to be eligible for a regular mortgage through the bank.
To learn more about Attainable Homes Calgary programs visit them at attainyourhome.com.