AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Higher lumber and construction costs are making it difficult for Amarillo Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes for families.
Now, they are reaching out for more funding, in addition to volunteer hours and donations, to cover the increased costs.
“The families in our program, they, they’re trying to achieve the American dream. They are trying to own a home,” AHFH Resource Director, Shannon Jordan, said.
Jodan said families buy their homes at the cost of the build with no interest but the higher costs are pushing homes out of budget.
“So for us, that’s about $24,000 per home, that the cost is going up, which is putting us really teetering on the line of whether or not these houses will be affordable for these families to keeping their payments in that 30% of their income,” Jordan said.
West Texas A&M University Associate Professor of Economics & Dana Professor of Business, Dr. Neil Meredith, said because of demand and supply disruptions, increased prices could stick around for a while.
“It’s just unprecedented. You know, we’re in territory where we’ve not been before,” Dr. Meredith said. “So, we don’t know how everything is going to settle. I would say it’s gonna probably take at least a year.”
He said it could take more or less than a year to get back to normal, depending on sawmill production for lumber, and several other factors.
“We’re all just gonna have to be a lot more patient and it’s, it’s easy for me to say that,” he continued. “The reality is that people you know, want to finish and build their home and move in and those sorts of things. So, you know, we’ll see what Habitat for Humanity does to adapt to the situation.”
In the meantime, Jordan said they are trying to keep their families updated about the costs.
“It affected even the last homeowner that just purchased our 115th home,” Jordan said. “You know, this affected her, that it was just right on the cusp of being affordable for her income and keeping her in the guidelines that we have to follow.”
Jordan said Habitat is reaching out to local foundations and grantmakers to fill the gaps.
“We normally have a set price that we try to get funded for the homes to go back to build each home, and that’s just not covering. You know, we have two houses funded now but that’s just not covering the cost of what is going to be to build those homes,” she added.
That funding will be necessary as they prepare to start building a new neighborhood. They will also need volunteer builders.
“We are really thankful for the community’s support and you know, the volunteer hours that are put in that helps to keep it affordable,” Jordan said.
She also said the AHFH ReStore is looking for volunteers, as well as donations of building supplies, household furniture, and more.
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