CLEARWATER, Fla. — On Friday, March 24, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County celebrates the momentous occasion of its 400th home dedication and key presentation for a local, qualified family. With every new construction, Habitat Pinellas creates homeownership opportunities for families with the help of the community volunteers, corporate donors, civic organizations and county officials. The key sponsors of the 400th house, which will be providing a home for the Piantadosi family in Clearwater, were primarily community individuals and family foundations as a result of peer-to-peer fundraising throughout Pinellas County. This announcement is celebrated after a long line of recent success stories, awards and unprecedented growth for Habitat Pinellas.
“This marks a significant moment in our history, as well as another meaningful moment for a local family who will be gaining the opportunity to be homeowners,” said Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “The significant increase in homes built in just the last two years is because of our sponsors, partners and volunteers who make it all possible, and together with them, the 400th house equates to 720,000 volunteers’ hours, 112,000 volunteers and 1,047 total children served since 1985.”
The family who will become owners of the 400th home is head by Amanda Piantadosi, a woman who has a passion for teaching young children and works as an assistant preschool director and lead VPK teacher. Piantadosi will share the home with her mother, niece and niece’s daughter.
Home Dedication Ceremony and Key Presentation:
• When: Friday, March 24, 9:00 a.m.
• Where: 1980 Fuller Dr., Clearwater, FL
• Who: Media is invited to attend. The Mayor of Clearwater, George Cretekos, is expected to attend along with the family. Other local dignitaries and attendees are being finalized.
An unprecedented 67 percent growth for the organization in the previous fiscal year is expected to continue with the 400th home and 54 new home builds planned for 2017. Among recipient families of the new homes, an approximate 20 additional families will benefit through Habitat Pinellas’s Neighborhood Preservation Program. This program is operated by Habitat Pinellas and offers home repair services for homeowners who live in the 22nd Street South corridor in St. Petersburg. The program is modeled after other successful neighborhood preservation partnerships and is intended to complement other initiatives that are currently strengthening economic and resource development in the midtown area.
While helping to make the American Dream come true by creating homeownership opportunities for families, Habitat Pinellas continues to contribute to improvements in the local Pinellas economy.
“Funds that generate construction and trade jobs help low-income families find a home of their own, revitalize neighborhoods, produce tax revenue for the local government and help build safe and secure neighborhoods — making up a truly meaningful investment in Pinellas County’s future,” Sutton says.
Each home built by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County contributes to local employment in skilled trades. The short-term positive economic impact also includes the stabilization of Pinellas County neighborhoods through the building or rehabilitation of homes. Long-term benefits are even greater. In just the last year, Habitat Pinellas homeowners paid $398,744.35 in city, county, school board and other property taxes. By transitioning to homeowner status, many of these families raise their standard of living and no longer need assistance or other costly services from local or state agencies.
As the 12th largest local U.S. Habitat affiliate in new construction out of 1,400 affiliates in the country, Habitat Pinellas continues success in 2017 after receiving four prestigious awards in 2016, including:
• 2016 (November) — Charity Navigator awards Habitat Pinellas its 10th consecutive four-star rating
• 2016 (March) — Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work Awards!”
• 2016 (January) — “Nonprofit of the Year” award at the 2016 Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber awards
• 2016 (October) — “Nonprofit of the Year” award from the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce
Formed in 1985, Habitat Pinellas has established a tradition of continued growth, evident in the build pace that began with the first 100 homes taking 18 years to build, seven years to reach the 200th home in 2010, four years to complete 300 homes in 2014 and just two years to reach the current 400-home milestone.
To volunteer, please contact Volunteer@HabitatPinellas.org or sign up at HabitatPinellas.org.
More about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has constructed 395 homes for struggling families in Pinellas County using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat Pinellas homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. For Pinellas County, that translates to as little as $27,000 a year for a family of four. Candidates must also demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat Pinellas to invest 250 to 350 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that homeownership contributes to family stability, leading in turn to community stability. Additionally, Habitat Pinellas raises funds through their ReStore, a home improvement outlet where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, contact 727-536-4755 or visit www.HabitatPinellas.org.