When the dust settles and the ring of hammers ceases, two families in need will be able to call Auburn Bay home.
One of them is the family of an actor who starred on the TV series North of 60.
Women Build Week recently got the work party started, launching Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta’s newest project in Auburn Bay.
The organization, which builds affordable homes mostly through volunteers and community partners, seeks to empower families through home ownership.
Two single mothers head up the partner families for the homes.
They include Stacy Da Silva and her three boys — Sage, 13, Steedin, 3, and Sedar, 2. Da Silva, a film and TV actor who had a role in the 1990s TV series North of 60, faced escalating rental costs in an unsafe area plagued with crime.
Now working as a family and community liaison in Aboriginal Services, Da Silva is anticipating the opportunity to raise her children in a safe place and give them a brighter start on life.
Her family will be neighbours with Vanisha Lal, who has four children — Carissa, 21, Eden, 14, Elijah, 11, and Gabriel, 9.
For Lal, who works at the Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre, this home means a new chance for financial security and stability for the family.
“Making home ownership possible for families in need opens up a world of opportunities for them and gets us all one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Leslie Tamagi, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.
The first volunteer crew to work on the duplex at 476 and 480 Auburn Bay Ave. S.E. was from Brookfield Residential and Brookfield Homes.
“By sharing our talents and skills, we are able to increase our capacity to help transform communities,” said Wendy Jabusch, vice-president of Calgary housing with Brookfield Homes.
More than 10 Brookfield female staff took part in the day.
“They were working on floor joists today,” said Colleen Clancy, fund development director for Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.
The duplex features a cottage country-inspired exterior with bold coloured hardboard siding and accents reminiscent of cottage life on the bay.
Each home is 1,030 square feet, with an open-concept main floor featuring kitchen, great room, dining nook, mud room and a half-bathroom.
The upper floor has three bedrooms and a full bathroom. There is room for a fourth bedroom and full bathroom in the basement.
During the days leading up to Mother’s Day on Sunday, Women Build Week is an annual event in which thousands of women join forces to help house families.
It encourages women to learn new skills, as well as help raise awareness of an important issue.
Partner families log 500 hours of volunteer work on their homes as part of the program. They buy their home with no down payment, and with an interest-free mortgage arranged through Habitat for Humanity, which costs much less than a traditional bank mortgage.
Brookfield Residential partnered with Habitat for Humanity for lots within the Auburn Bay community.
“We are excited and honoured to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help families in need of housing,” said Trent Edwards, chief operating officer of Brookfield Residential for Alberta.
In Edmonton, where Brookfield Residential and Brookfield Homes also participated in Women Build Week, Brookfield announced it is donating a home.
Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta consists of affiliates from Calgary, Brooks District, Medicine Hat and Mountain View County.
The group is a member of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which is part of a worldwide network that spans 80 countries and has built more than 600,000 homes.
In southern Alberta, Habitat for Humanity has served more than 190 families, building more than 160 homes.