Clearwater, FL – In an effort to ensure its employees are making a competitive living wage, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has increased its minimum wage and plans to continue the increase in 2020.
“This year, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties increased our minimum wage to $13.50 an hour. In 2020, we will be increasing that hourly rate to $15,” explains Mike Sutton, President and CEO of the affiliate. “Our board of directors and executive leadership team see this as an opportunity to lead the way for nonprofits to do our part to ensure our talent is making a livable wage.”
Florida’s minimum wage is currently set at $8.46 an hour. State wage increases are scheduled annually based on cost of living.
It’s no surprise that minimum wage is a leading topic for working-class America as the cost of living continues to steadily increase. In Florida, one in six families spend half or more of their income on housing. Habitat for Humanity recently launched an advocacy campaign, Cost of Home, to engage the community in the affordable housing crisis.
“In our state, one in six families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides. With these wage increases we aim to support our employees, who work tirelessly to create affordable housing solutions for others, with their own stability”, said Sutton.
Organizations across the Tampa Bay Region have announced minimum wage increases to ensure their employees a better quality of life. Sutton hopes that the movement of investing in employees will continue to spread into the nonprofit sector.
According to a report released by the Florida Nonprofit Alliance in 2017, there are over 83,000 nonprofit organizations across the state, directly employing more than 100,000 people in the Tampa Bay Region. The report showed that there are over 5,000 nonprofits in Pinellas and Pasco Counties alone.
“I’m a firm believer that administrative costs do not highlight impact,” said Sutton. “If we allow nonprofits to invest in their people and infrastructure, imagine the impact we could have. Instead, we say ‘do more with less’ and refuse to get competitive with compensation. Hopefully this is a next step toward that investment.”
For more information about the Cost of Home campaign, please visit https://habitatpinellas.org/news- events/cost-of-home/.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
In March 2019, the West Pasco and Pinellas County affiliates merged to form Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties. In total, the affiliate has severed more than 750 families in Pinellas and West Pasco Counties through its homeownership and home repair programs. Volunteers and future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. Candidates must demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to invest 350 to 450 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are then used to build more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that homeownership contributes to family stability which leads to community stability. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their two ReStores: home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, call (727) 536-4755 or visit www.habitatpwp.org.