I had a chance to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity a few weeks ago. Before gearing up and installing sideboards on a 36-unit complex in Daly City (by climbing on the scaffolding!), all of the volunteers were given an orientation about the organization, initiatives in the community, and safety.Habitat for Humanity Foreclosure Buying ProgramThe volunteer coordinator explained Habitat for Humanity’s innovative response to the spike in local foreclosures over the past few years. Building a house from scratch, is time-consuming and requires many steps from acquiring land, to designing a home, to building the home.
Habitat For Humanity
Re-furbishing an existing home, in comparison, can be a more efficient use of resources. And can enable Habit for Humanity to create more home ownership opportunities for more families.With that end result in mind, Habit for Humanity has begun partnering with banks to purchase foreclosed homes. The organization than utilizes its team of volunteers and staff to update the home and make it move-in ready.


The volunteer coordinator alluded to Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) sentiment that many neighborhoods hold with regards to new Habitat for Humanity build projects. (i.e. “sure, it’s great that Habit builds new homes, but NIMBY…”

Refurbishing foreclosed homes is a completely different ballgame. And often has neighborhood residents singing a different tune.

Updating older homes, improving their curb appeal can have a rippling positive effect. Other neighbors in the area often also decide to update their homes to keep pace, and neglected neighborhoods have the chance to take steps toward revitalization.

Read more:

Banks help Habitat for Humanity buy empty homes (SF Gate)

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