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Supply chain impacting nonprofit's affordable housing

Habitat for Humanity
Posted at 2:22 PM, Aug 16, 2022

Supply chain issues are just one element impacting affordable housing builds with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

Pandemic disruptions, labor shortages, supply chain issues, and increases in real estate and building materials costs have made it an incredibly challenging time to get any home in the U.S.

Despite a plethora of obstacles, organizations like Habitat for Humanity are still building and getting creative in order to continue helping people.

Habitat for Humanity representatives in Lockland, Ohio, say they’ve had to do new things--like store windows, refrigerators and other materials in warehouses--to ensure sure they have the supplies stocked when they are needed.

Nationally, Habitat for Humanity reported it was able to build approximately 3,000 new homes each year from 2017 through 2021, with a slight dip in 2020, when the organization has had to pull back temporarily on volunteer builds.

The organization does a lot more in the affordable housing arena than just building new homes. The nonprofit also repairs properties and does rehabilitation construction. Through those efforts, Habitat for Humanity is on track to impact the same number of individuals it did pre-pandemic:

2019: 33,570
2020: 29,436
2021: 30,054

Habitat for Humanity International helps people across the globe and advocates for things like zoning changes to allow for more starter and affordable homes.

“We can increase some density. Can we look at accessory dwelling units? Can we look at some compact size homes that will meet different needs when we’re thinking about veterans and the elderly?” said Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president over U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International.

Goolsby pointed out there was an affordable housing crisis before the pandemic. However, the pandemic forced them to be creative and nimble to figure out how to impact the community more broadly.

Federally, there are new initiatives in the works, like the Housing Supply Chain Action Plan and the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, to address supply chain and housing issues. Plans that Goolsby says will make a difference beyond roofs over heads.

“It’s about what’s the implication of that long term when we’re thinking about educational and health outcomes.,” Goolsby said.