With the current economy, the mission of Habitat for Humanity is so critical

September 22 – When it comes to affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity works hard for people in the Keys.

Hannah Edwards, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the organization’s projects.  

Edwards said, “Our main mission is to build affordable homes for people to purchase, for local families to purchase. We can all agree that affordable, quality housing has so many good benefits. It has good social, economic and community benefits, but we often leave home ownership out of that discussion and we really believe that there are really a lot of benefits to affordable home ownership, specifically.”

It often means a stronger, more stable workforce. People will want to stay in the community longer if they are able to buy a home and put down roots. It also offers more diversity.

Edwards said, “There’s opportunities for economic development for the families as well as for the area and there’s increased job retention, increased productivity. It helps with addressing generational wealth and equalities. It also increases civic participation. People want to be a more active part of the community. There’s improved safety and there’s just a greater sense of pride in the community.”

Habitat for Humanity has zero percent interest loans and down payment assistance for those who qualify.

Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM pointed out, “The Federal Reserve of course raised interest rates by three quarters of a percent yesterday, it’s well over three percent rise over the past few months, making home ownership and mortgages even less attainable, so it makes what you do even more crucial.”

Habitat for Humanity has several new projects in the works, including the last four town homes in the Moss Landing development in Cudjoe Key. They are currently under construction and the families that will be moving in have been qualified. They are going through their education classes.

Edwards said, “They have to complete 350 hours of sweat equity, total, before they are able to purchase their homes and they complete the education classes.”

The classes include instruction on home maintenance, credit, mortgages, homeowners associations, conflict resolution, fire safety and home safety.

Another property has already been purchased in Cudjoe Key and four additional homes will be constructed.

Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers to help in a variety of capacities, including home repair and help with the warehouse.

The Habitat for Humanity Warehouse on Rockland Key is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. One big sale is usually done once a month on the first Saturday.

Edwards said, “The warehouse is really a great resource for new or gently used furniture, appliances, building supplies and décor. We are really excited because we just formed a warehouse committee to help us out and we have some really great, intelligent people who are volunteering on the committee.”

Habitat is looking for a bigger space for the warehouse, so if anyone has any information, please contact the organization.

An upcoming raffle for an oil painting by Neva Townsend of a rooster called Key West King is a current fundraiser for Habitat. All information is on the website below.

Edwards said, “Tickets are $20. We’re only selling 50 of them, so you have a really good chance of winning.”

For more information, click here:  https://www.habitatlowerkeys.org/