St. Petersburg, Fla. – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County announced today that it surpassed 2017 projected investments of $1.5 million, by more than $2 million through new home construction in the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) of South St. Petersburg. This expansion is a result of 13 new home construction projects added to the CRA commitment and additional contributions from the Habitat Pinellas Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), a community program that serves South St. Pete families with home painting and critical home repairs.
Additionally, the organization builds on their commitment in South St. Petersburg through the purchase of a 1,200-sq. ft. office space in the heart of Midtown, on 22nd St. South, which will serve as an information center for community members and potential homeowner candidates interested in partnering with Habitat Pinellas.
This office will be a local resource hosting educational classes for future homeowners to learn helpful lessons on home financing and maintenance tips. Habitat Pinellas is currently working with St. Petersburg Greenhouse to provide educational forums for local contractors who are working to obtain proper certifications, and learn how they may partner with Habitat. The office grand opening is scheduled for Friday, March 2, 2018.
“The Founding Habitat Pinellas Board of Directors frequently met at Childs Park United Methodist Church in Midtown, St. Petersburg 32 years ago,” said Mike Sutton, CEO, of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “While we serve all of Pinellas County, we’re proud to make a long-term investment in the community and put down roots in South St. Petersburg by opening an administration office that is convenient to homeowners.”
Ongoing initiatives into 2018 include:
– Habitat Pinellas initially joined forces with Sustainable Communities Renaissance Project, Inc. in 2017 to build a home for one underserved family in the CRA. Sustainable Communities Renaissance Project, Inc. is specifically organized to encourage sustainable communities, build and renovate affordable housing in distressed and deteriorating neighborhoods, provide job training and provide credit counseling. Sustainable Communities leverages the Habitat Pinellas buying power and Habitat will continue to serve as Sustainable Communities’ general contractor.
– Habitat Pinellas will continue working with the South St. Petersburg-based Pinellas County Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition (PERC) to provide on-the-job training to ex-offenders capable of rehabilitation. Individuals will go through a 12-week training course on Habitat Pinellas construction sites to become certified as hirable through PERC.
– Habitat Pinellas will continue the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a program operated by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County that offers home repair services for homeowners who live in the 22nd Street South corridor in St. Petersburg. South St. Petersburg homeowners can look to Habitat Pinellas all year long for affordable home repairs like roof replacement, structural, plumbing, electrical repairs and painting. For more information regarding this program and the qualification process contact Habitat Pinellas, Home Repair Services Supervisor Antwaun Wells at 727-657-8621 or awells@HabitatPinellas.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has constructed 441 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 350 to 450 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 home ownership 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.