Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties has been partnering with local families in need of decent and affordable homes since 1982, but as of Thursday, June 24th, we’ve achieved a new milestone – closing on our 1,700th affordable home! This achievement comes after nearly 40 years of building homes in partnership with local families. Then, just one day after meeting that milestone, we officially reached our goal of building 55 homes for 55 low-income families this year.
These accomplishments come at the end of our most challenging fiscal year yet. Habitat for Humanity is a volunteer-driven organization, but in March of 2020, all volunteer activity was suspended due to COVID-19, which has significantly increased the cost to build homes. Since then, our organization has relied heavily on paid laborers and a small group of select build partners. Additionally, we have faced a host of other challenges, including an increase in the cost of materials and nation-wide shortages.
However, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Habitat made a commitment to continue to build because we had families counting on us. Gratefully, Habitat supporters responded to our commitment with record levels of generosity. Without the support we receive from local individuals, businesses, and community leaders, addressing the need for affordable homeownership would not be possible.
“The fact that we’ve built and sold 1,700 affordable homes in almost 40 years means two things,” says Habitat Lee and Hendry CEO Becky Lucas. “First, there’s an incredible need for affordable housing in our area, and second, we live in a community where compassion runs deep.”
With a new year on the horizon, we have big plans to help meet the need in this area. In addition to building 60 homes in partnership with 60 families in the coming fiscal year, our family services team will work with hundreds of additional families through financial and housing counseling. Through these additional services, families can work on foreclosure prevention, credit repair, financial management, and pre-purchase counseling, among other things. This is all part of our wildly important goal to put God’s love into action by serving more families than ever before.