Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys of newly built homes to six families in Fort Saskatchewan on Thursday (December 14).
A crowd gathered on Canyon Road to watch the ceremony, which consisted of speeches and sponsors personally handing a key over to each family.
"We have been building 16 homes in the Fort and we're very proud that six families have their new homes before the holidays," said Alfred Nikolai, Habitat for Humanity president and CEO in Edmonton. "There has been a lot of energy at this build site and it's evidenced in part by the completed homes, but more so by the faces of parents, children and the volunteers and donors who have made this build happen. It's a good day to be part of Habitat."
The Elmiri family were excited to get the keys to their new home.
"It's a good feeling. We finally have a peace of mind and can focus on some other stuff... not worry about moving from one rental house to another rental house," said Ahmed Elmiri.
He and his wife Laila have two children, Mohammed and Ali. The process for them started in the summer of 2016 and he described it as quick, with him completing his 500 volunteer hours during the build.
"It's pretty great to have your house before the holiday," added Elmiri.
Fort Saskatchewan mayor Gale Katchur said, "it's wonderful to see these families moving into their new homes after months of hard work."
She noted these Carter Project homes are a great news story not only for these families, but for the City of Fort Saskatchewan and other local families who may soon get their own hand up.
The 2017 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter work project began last summer. 75 homes were constructed in the Edmonton area, with 16 of those in Fort Saskatchewan and another 75 across Canada.