Five families in need have become homeowners, thanks to a project through Habitat for Humanity. The organization made the presentation at a ribbon-cutting and key ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

"This is so awesome. These are the families that have been on a journey longer than we have," said Dennis Coutts, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver.

After several years of planning and applications to rezone a plot of land to contain five separate residential units, the families were chosen out of hundreds of applications.

"They’re actually homeowners. They’re going to be able to get into market housing at some point, so we want to select them very carefully," said Coutts.

Each family is able to afford the purchase of a home, with the help of donations from individual and corporate sponsors.

"I can’t even express my feelings. We are very happy. We are very excited, so calling home here and my boy’s here happy he gets his very own room," said Gamachu Taha, one of the new homeowners.

Taha, his wife and three children are immigrants to Canada from Ethiopia. Aside from his full-time job, Taha has been volunteering four to five hours each week to the organization, as well as providing manpower to complete construction of their future home. The family will move in next week.

"There is no finer opportunity in life than stability," said Linda Reed, MLA for Richmond East.

"It’s a hand up, not a hand out for them. They’re changing their lives forever, and their children’s lives are changing. And, their children’s children’s lives are going to change, because they’re breaking the cycle of poverty," Coutts added.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver is one of 54 affiliates across Canada, currently building or planning homes in Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond, Mission and Coquitlam.