Woman says Calgary non-profit helped her put down roots

Woman says Calgary non-profit helped her put down roots

Johnson first in her family to own a property

Heather Johnson in her new Glenbrook Park condo, which she purchased in August with some assistance from Attainable Homes.


Heather Johnson in her new Glenbrook Park condo, which she purchased in August with some assistance from Attainable Homes.

Growing up, Heather Johnson’s family moved around a lot.

“I think we came from gypsies,” she joked.

Her parents split when she was only one and home ownership in the city was simply out of the question.

And so, the pattern continued when she reached adulthood.

Johnson said she lived in apartments her entire adult life – mainly aiming for lower cost ones in an attempt to save money.

Sometimes she didn’t even have the luxury of an apartment.

“I lived in a women’s shelter for a while. I was even homeless for a few nights. It doesn’t sound like much but it was scary,” she said.

Having been to the bottom means her current digs are all the more appreciated. Johnson is now the proud owner of a condo in Glenbrook Park.

At 604 square feet – it’s not huge – but it belongs to her. She said she could’ve purchased a larger two-bedroom in Mahogany, but she’s always felt more comfortable closer to the downtown.

She said she’s the first person in her family to have purchased a home.

“The more you have, the more you have to lose. I was scared to own something, because I thought I could lose it,” she said.

Her mother helped her change her mind after sending her an ad for Attainable Homes – the city’s non-profit corporation, which gives working Calgarians a hand up in purchasing a home.

“It just didn’t seem real. It seemed too easy,” said Johnson. “The only catch I’ve seen is that you have to pay back what they give you.”

Johnson attended one of the educational session held by Attainable Homes. From there she worked with Bre-Ann Dart, who is a sales associate with the organization.

Dart said she’s not a salesperson in the typical sense of the word.

“Basically what we’re doing is matching people in our inventory with what they can afford,” she said.

People purchasing property though Attainable Homes have to meet certain criteria, such as not making too much money. They also have to get approved for a regular mortgage.

Attainable Homes helps them with the down payment, which is eventually paid back when the home sells.

Dart said she loves being able to help working Calgairans get into a home of their own.

Johnson believes she’s saving on what she would’ve paid in rent, but more importantly she is happy to be gaining equity in the home.

“Even if it costs more, it’s my money going to me.”

View the original story here: http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2016/02/15/woman-says-calgary-non-profit-helped-her-put-down-roots.html


Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation (AHCC) is a nonprofit social enterprise and wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary that delivers well-appointed, entry-level homes for Calgarians who have been caught in the city’s growing housing affordability gap. 

Through our Attainable Home Ownership Program, we connect builders, developers, lenders, lawyers and others to bring down the upfront costs of ownership so qualifying Calgarians can buy their very own home with a $2,000 down payment. Furthermore, when you decide to buy an attainable home, you're also choosing to pay it forward to help another family in the future. When you eventually decide to refinance or sell your home on the market, a share of the appreciation goes back into the program to fund more developments that will help even more people get a foot on the property ladder.

Do you aspire to own a home of your own? Contact us today and let us show you just how attainable this milestone can be.

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