Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and its ReStores are Building Neighborhoods Download

29:55 Download April 25th, 2023

Corinne O’Connell, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia discussed their vision, a city where everyone has a decent place to live.  She noted one in four families is facing housing issues, paying too much of their income toward rent, and while Philadelphia has a larger percentage of homeowners than many major cities, our housing stock is old and much is in disrepair.  We discussed how homes are lost for lack of funds for maintenance, robbing the family of the home’s value.  Ms O’Connell spoke of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia programming, building or rehabbing homes to sell to qualifying families for an affordable price and a zero-interest 30-year mortgage and no-cost repairs to neighboring homes.  We also discussed their work to repair title – thousands of homes in the city have a tangled title. Ms O’Connell pointed out the benefits of their programs, children do better in school with secure housing – asthma is a leading cause of missed school days – and families can use their home to build wealth, assets that can be passed on.  She described the other benefits, stable neighbors invested in their community and lowered crime rates in areas getting repairs.

She touched on the requirements for future owners and how they work with them to repair credit scores and budget, as well as teaching home maintenance.  Owners put sweat equity into their homes, wither I classes or in actual building. 

Habitat For Humanity Philadelphia completed its 1,000 home milestone in November of ’22, they will finish their next 1,000 within five years, a goal Ms O’Connell says will be accomplished with help form all of us, as volunteers and donors.   Finally, we discussed their ReStore, a discount home improvement store on Washington Avenue, which sells donated new and gently used building materials, appliances and furnishings.  Not only does it keep usable goods from landfills, its revenue funds their projects throughout the year.  They will soon open their second store on Allegheny Avenue.   She invites us to shop, donate and volunteer at both locations.

Learan more at HabitatPhiladelphia.org

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