Clearwater, FL – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties announces that the organization received a $500,000 challenge grant from The Hough Family Foundation.
The grant will be used in part with the Mackenzie Scott gift that was awarded to Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco in March of 2022. Habitat will conduct a matching gift challenge campaign to raise and additional $500,000. The grant will match at a two-for-one ratio all donations from supporters who participate in the challenge campaign.
“Access to safe, decent, and affordable homeownership is out of reach for more residents now than likely any other time in the history of St. Petersburg”, said Mike Sutton, president and CEO of Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco. “Real estate prices have skyrocketed to levels far out of reach for too many families. As a result, the need to develop affordable housing has become paramount to retain the citizens who help make this area so desirable and to attract the workforce we need for future growth. We are grateful for the Hough Family Foundation and their dedication to the Habitat mission to make homeownership affordable for local families.”
The Hough Family Foundation has chosen the Pinellas and West Pasco Counties affiliate because of the impact that they are making on affordable housing in the community. “In terms of why we support Habitat, I think it is because we believe affordable housing is very important,” says the Hough Family Foundation. “We believe Habitat does an outstanding job of not only creating affordable housing, but helping people learn how to care for housing and thrive as a contributing member of the community and we believe in helping people who will work to help themselves. We believe that Habitat does an outstanding job of meeting all of those goals.”
Habitat is respectfully requesting $500,000 in funding to kick-off a six-month $1,500,000 Land Acquisition Matching Gift Campaign. Habitat for Humanity PWP will match The Hough Family Foundation’s $500,000 request with funds received from the recent MacKenzie Scott award to our affiliate and implement an aggressive outreach program to our community for the remaining $500,000. Make an impact today and triple your gift by visiting our website at habitatpwp.org/donate/monetary-donations and fill out the form. You can also reach out to the development department directly at 727-536-4755 ext. 229.
This funding will aid in the purchase of land acquisition within the South St. Petersburg CRA.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties was established in 1985 and a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which is a global nonprofit housing organization. The Habitat mission seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope. Its vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
The homeownership program aims to increase economic mobility through affordable homeownership. Economic mobility is a hallmark of any healthy society and one of the primary avenues American’s build wealth in society is through homeownership. However, affordable housing continues to be a crisis throughout our region and more specifically access to affordable homeownership, further exacerbating income inequality.
Habitat builds and sells homes at no profit and no interest to households who do not qualify for a traditional mortgage. The program prepares homeowner partners to be successful homeowners through an education curriculum of 32 classes, from budgeting to home maintenance.
The program is predicated on the principle of a hand-up and not a handout. Homeowners purchase their home from Habitat and are provided a ‘conventional’ 30-year 0% interest mortgage, never paying over 30% of their total household income for their housing expense. Removing interest from the mortgage not only keeps monthly payments affordable, but it also means that each homeowner is building equity in their home from their first payment on. This provides homeowners the opportunity to save for the future while having the stability of an affordable monthly payment. It also increases the supply of affordable housing units within the community and ensures homeowners are never cost-burdened.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 900 families and individuals through its new home buyer and neighborhood revitalization programs 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 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 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, the affiliate raises funds through their 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.