Affordability issues can seem unlikely in the thriving community of Scottsdale, but the truth is that affordability issues are hitting all major American cities.
Arizona, once known for cheaper land and affordable living, is now closer to places like Los Angeles and Seattle in terms of rising rents and skyrocketing home sale prices. Middle income earners and working class families are being squeezed out of areas where they live and work. So in addition to helping Arizona families that might not qualify for traditional home loans, Habitat for Humanity is committed to affecting affordable home repairs in three Valley locations: The Canyon Corridor (homes around GCU’s main campus), Victory Acres in Tempe, and Central City South which is directly south of Downtown Phoenix.
This year, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is celebrating 35 years of building homes, communities and hope in the Valley of the Sun. Like a seedling, the idea that became Habitat for Humanity first grew from the fertile soil of a community in Georgia. It was on the farm that Clarence Jordan and Millard and Linda Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. Since then, the Habitat model of community building and reinvestment has reached into other areas as well, including Arizona.
“With the help of generous donors, sponsors and thousands of volunteers, we’ve been privileged to build more than 1,150 homes, affect more than 2,500 repairs and improve the shelter situation for more than 3,500 Arizona families.” says President and CEO, Jason Barlow.
Barlow shares that Habitat is known for simply building houses to give away. However that is far from the truth. "We partner with Arizona families who put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity helping build their homes and their neighbors’ homes and then they pay back an affordable mortgage. We then direct those funds back into the community."
Commitment to the community does not stop at providing affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity is heavily focused on environmental assistance as well.
Habitat ReStores can be found in five Valley locations, and are open to the public. These facilities serve as a new front door for those who want to support Habitat by donating or purchasing gently used homes goods. Once known as more of a home-improvement thrift store, Habitat ReStores now carry furniture, flooring and discounted appliances – many scratch and dent, but still under factory warranty.
As part of this charter, Habitat ReStores also greatly reduce the amount of unwanted items that are simply thrown away. Donated couches, sinks, cabinets, office furniture, lighting and even paint, can all be salvaged and recycled through the Habitat ReStores and sold to home improvement enthusiasts at a discount. To date Valley Habitat ReStores have kept more than 30 million pounds out of local landfills and all proceeds go to support Habitat’s ongoing mission of building homes, communities and hope.
Celebrate 35 years of giving a “hand-up” at the 'Blueprints & Blue Jeans Gala' held at Echo Hangar on April 24. The event benefits the aging-in-place program, providing home repairs and renovations for seniors. The event will consist of a social hour, silent auction, dinner, live auction and special guests.