Habitat for Humanity sees impact of rising inflation

Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Inflation is forcing consumers and producers to find ways to deal with rising prices. But organizations that provide services at little to no cost face a significant challenge.

Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates affordable homes for families in need.

As materials get more expensive, Brittany Scanlon, executive director for The Cedar Valley chapter, said they have few options to handle inflation as a non-profit.

”I don’t necessarily have a client I can pass that price increase on to. So, I have two different options. Either decrease the number of new construction projects that we build in a typical year. Or I can try to increase fundraising to offset that price increase,” said Scanlon.

Scanlon said in the past, buying homes to fix up has been a way for them to be more cost effective. But in today’s market, that’s not saving them as much as it used to.

”We had have to decrease some of the new construction. We also have the option of doing more home rehabilitations. However, that gets tricky because of the real estate market right now,” said said Scanlon.

Inflation isn’t impacting just Habitat either.

Russel Porter who owns Porter Construction said he’s seen the rise for costs in things he needs to run his company first hand.

He says just one example is a common type of house wrap.

”I was used to paying $150 and it was $200 for a roll. And I had to get two rolls. So, that’s $100. It just adds up. I’ve been doing this for 40 year, never seen anything like it before,” said Porter.

Scanlon said while they may have to scale back building new homes, their goal remains the same.

”We still want to focus on new construction. And that’s really what Cedar Valley Habitat has been known for, is our new construction. Because we do want to decrease that gap. So, obviously it’s still a focus of ours, but we just can’t, kind of, lessen that gap as quickly as we would hope,” said Scanlon.

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