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The Globe and Mail

Free house on Kijiji for couple who lost home to Alberta floods

Water floods the streets in downtown High River, Alta., on June 20, 2013.

CHRIS BOLIN/The Globe and Mail

A couple who lost their home during a flood that engulfed their southern Alberta community last June have been handed keys to new digs, radio station CFFR reported.

Calgary country singer Jason Hastie and his wife, Gina, decided last month to give away their old home to someone in need and advertised on Kijiji.

They received thousands of replies, but in the end decided on Dave and Verna Roberts from High River.

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Jason said it was a tough decision, but looking at the reaction of the Roberts family made it a whole lot easier.

They asked for one reference for every person who wanted the home, but what they got was amazing.

He said the Roberts provided hundreds of reference letters that were incredibly written and heartfelt, from friends and family.

It's been a long, tough year for the Dave and Verna, who lost their home in the flood, but things are looking up.

"It feels like we're going home, I'm so happy and overwhelmed, I'm so excited." Verna said Wednesday, as she watched workers ready the house to be lifted off its foundation and trucked off to a new location.

Just six months earlier, the couple's 31-year-old son Kyle died in a car crash.

Hastie said he and his wife don't deserve all the credit and it's been amazing to see others pay it forward.

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"From building movers who are covering the cost of the move, which is substantial, it's up to $25,000, just unbelievable generosity," he said.

The couple already has plans to have a massive housewarming party at their new place, and have invited Jason and his band to provide them with some musical entertainment.

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