© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Jenny Crowe is seen with her children outside of the Habitat for Humanity home she went from rent-to-buy to buying on Thursday. From left is Kristen Daniels, 16, Dayton Sanderson, 17, Travis Antone, 9, Crowe and Cheyenne Sanderson, 12.
With her yearlong rent-to-own trial period over, local single mom Jenny Crowe was handed title to her Habitat for Humanity home at a ceremony in her honour on Thursday.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm telling you, this gal impresses me,‚ÄĚ Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert vice-president Duane Hayunga said.
‚ÄúThe work that she does raising her children on her own, here, and the hours of work and making this happen were an eye-opener for me.‚ÄĚ
Crowe and four of her five children moved into the house in November, 2012, and at Thursday‚Äôs ceremony she said that they‚Äôve settled in nicely.
For her daughter Cheyenne Sanderson, 12, the No. 1 thing home ownership has brought her has been an addition to the family -- a mutt named Guido.
During the family‚Äôs previous rental situation, a dog was out of the question since it kept running away.
‚ÄúNow we have a bigger yard and we can let her out without running everywhere,‚ÄĚ Sanderson said while Guido barked at her from the living room window.
The Crowe family‚Äôs 1,000 square-foot four-bedroom house in the east flat area of the city is a great improvement from the existing building, Crowe said.
This is Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert‚Äôs first renovation, president Morris Sawchuk said, noting that the organization typically sticks to brand new builds.
‚ÄúWe know what a new house costs to build, so to reno a house -- especially when you have the benefit of volunteer labour -- is not generally cost effective, but this one was,‚ÄĚ he explained.
‚ÄúIt was gutted inside right to the wall studs, so we could see what exactly was in it.‚ÄĚ
When she first saw the house, Crowe said that she was hesitant, noting that it was quite the ‚Äúugly‚ÄĚ building prior to its Habitat for Humanity facelift.
‚ÄúThere was no grass, no fence, no shed ‚Äď just nails all around, and it was really just a lot,‚ÄĚ she said, adding that the dedicated group of volunteers who make up the organization have made it a dream come true.
‚ÄúIt means a lot. Compared to what I had before, having the opportunity to own my own home -- I love it,‚ÄĚ she said.
At Thursday‚Äôs ceremony, Prince Albert Northcote MLA Victoria Jurgens noted that since the Crowe family‚Äôs home was built the province has upped their Habitat for Humanity project funding from $50,000 per home to $65,000.
‚ÄúInitiatives like this one support our plan for growth, which strives to ensure that families have access to safe and affordable housing across Saskatchewan,‚ÄĚ she said.
This increased funding will work forever within the Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert organization, Sawchuk said.
Habitat for Humanity families pay for their homes with interest-free payments, he explained -- money that circulates back into the organization to pay for subsequent builds.
Money works in perpetuity, he said, noting that as the construction base builds they‚Äôre able to build more within the community.