Known for building new homes for families in need, Habitat for Humanity has been forced to switch gears as land prices soar throughout the United States. Rather than building homes from scratch, the charitable organizing has changed their focus and is now renovating existing homes for large scale adaptive reuse projects. In order to stick to their plan to provide affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity has rolled with the punches, buying up foreclosed homes in order to house their clients comfortably.
For the past 38 years, Habitat for Humanity has made a difference in thousands of people’s lives by organizing volunteers who construct homes for low-income families. Over the past six years, however, the price of land across the United States has jumped dramatically, forcing the charity to seriously reconsider their approach, and to come up with a new plan to realize their goals.
In order to adjust to the rising land prices, the charity has begun to purchase foreclosed homes, doubling their renovation projects from 2008 to 2014, totaling in 1,435 renovated properties. Reflecting the market trends, Habitat for Humantiy has also decreased new construction by 31 percent, with only 3,323 newly constructed homes in 2014.
Although inflated land costs continue to be a nationwide issue, Habitat for Humanity has no plans to slow down. By focusing on renovations rather than building from the ground up, the charity is able to continue to provide housing for its clients in a market that would be otherwise unaffordable to many.