A Calgary non-profit organization that helps Calgarians achieve home ownership is celebrating its 500th sale.

Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation (AHCC) is a city-owned agency created five years ago to close the “affordability gap” by working with developers, builders and banks “to bring down the upfront costs of buying a home,” according to its website.

The program helps Calgarians with a maximum household income of $80,000 — $90,000 for parents of dependent children — get a first step on the ownership ladder, AHCC says.

“Attainable Homes was set up to help working Calgarians of moderate income have an opportunity to move into ownership,” CEO David Watson said.

“Teachers, nurses, people who work with the city, for the province. People on moderate incomes that actually make the city work that you have to find ways to help them live here.”

Robbin Foxcroft, who earns about $60,000 a year, said home ownership was not even on her radar until she heard about AHCC.

“Without this I wouldn't have been looking. It’s absolutely amazing I can't even describe my gratefulness,” she said.

Foxcroft said she figures she will actually save money, since her new mortgage will be cheaper than her current rent.

AHCC provides qualified homebuyers with a five per cent forgivable equity loan — also known as a gifted down payment — if the buyer is able to put $2,000 down.

When an owner sells or refinances the attainable home, AHCC keeps a share of the appreciation along a sliding scale depending how long the house was owned.