The day a person buys a home, life changes. It empowers an individual, strengthens the family and builds a better community. For many moderate-income Calgarians, the opportunity for homeownership is limited. Due to the high average price of a home in Calgary and the difficulty of saving for a down payment in today’s market, thousands of working middle-income Calgarians who earn a household income less than $80,000, and who can qualify for a mortgage often find themselves excluded from owning their own home.
Attainable Homes Calgary (AHCC) is a self-sustaining, non-profit organization owned by The City of Calgary. It was created to bridge the housing affordability gap and empower middle income Calgarians with the means to buy homes, build equity and create financial stability for their futures by providing community solutions to home ownership. Through a combination of administering the Attainable Home Ownership Program (AHOP) which offers down payment assistance by way of a 5% wholly forgivable loan, and fostering relationships and collaborations between the home building industry and the various individuals and businesses that are responsible for making homeownership available, AHCC is able to provide home ownership opportunities to moderate-income Calgarians who may have otherwise been priced out of the market. We have been asked on many occasions, “how do we do this and what’s the catch?” It’s really very simple. Our unique AHOP allows AHCC to assist in the purchase of the home and in turn, the home owner and Attainable Homes share in the future appreciation. The program gives the freedom to sell the home at anytime to the open market and the home buyer keeps their share of the appreciation. We then re-invest our portion back into AHOP; allowing us to continue offering the program to other working middle-income Calgarians.
Over the last year, AHCC is proud to say that they have provided home ownership to Calgarians from individuals and single parents to couples and families in communities such as Deer Run SE, Sherwood NW and Cranston SE and will continue to provide home ownership opportunities in other communities across Calgary. AHCC is about to start the development permit process on a site in West Springs community, which is designated for the Attainable Homes Calgary program. We will be partnering with a local Calgary builder, in 2012, to begin the development of 60-70 quality, entry-level townhouse condominiums. These townhomes will be located at 156 – 89 Street SW. We hope to apply for a development permit in the spring of 2012 and hope to break ground in late summer of this year. AHCC is committed to community engagement and successful communication is a two-way street. Building trust and fostering relationships with the communities that we build in, and making informed decisions based on community and all stakeholder feedback is part of building a vibrant community and city.
Our goal is to: Engage the West Springs community and all interested stakeholders in the site development process. Receive feedback from participants about the site development plans; which will be considered and incorporated to the greatest extent possible. Remain committed to open and transparent communication with its stakeholders and all members of the public and ensure that ongoing information is available through its website and other defined channels. To learn more about AHCC, visit http://attainablehomescalgary.ca.