Ray Collins Media takes an in-depth view at Habitat for Humanity Sarasota's mission.
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Sarasota has provided safe and affordable homes to low-income working families. Throughout our history, Habitat Sarasota has successfully placed over 230 families into affordable housing in Sarasota. This fiscal year, Habitat Sarasota will serve 21 families.
Habitat Sarasota partners with families to help them acquire the skills and financial education necessary to be successful homeowners. By doing more than just building homes for families in need, we positively affect lives by revitalizing our community in Sarasota and building hope where, for many, hope was lost.
Habitat Sarasota purchases vacant lots to build new construction homes using sustainable building materials and techniques and energy efficient features culminating in lower monthly expenses for homeowners. The affiliate also purchases dilapidated homes and renovates them.
Habitat Sarasota services its own mortgages and is proud of the successful relationship we have with our homeowners. Thanks to our ongoing counseling, when needed, to ensure they stay current on their mortgage payments, our homeowners overwhelmingly meet their loan obligations. Because of Habitat’s proven model, this affiliate services more than 165 mortgages.
The agency incorporates the following principles to ensure successful homeownership:
a) families whose income measures 30%-80% of the area median income may qualify for our homeownership program;
b) demonstrate the need for improved and affordable housing;
c) a willingness to partner with Habitat for a minimum of 300 sweat equity hours;
d) ability to pay an interest-free mortgage;
e) once qualified, applicants are required to participate in Pathway to Homeownership – a series of homebuyer classes; and
f) provide a down payment of $2,000 prior to closing on their home.
Habitat Sarasota is volunteer-driven; anyone older than 16 who can swing a hammer, grasp a paintbrush or provide cheer has what it takes to volunteer at one of our build sites. No construction experience is necessary; we provide the tools and the training. In the last 12 months, more than 700 people volunteered on our build sites, giving nearly 13,500 hours to our mission.
The Sarasota ReStore (located on the corner of 17th Street and East Avenue) fuels our mission by covering our operating expenses, allowing every charitable dollar raised to be allocated to the building fund – unless specified by the donor. Because of the philanthropic community we live in, we receive high-end, quality items that are then sold to the public, generating about $1.9 million annually (gross).
Board of Directors
Chair: John Peshkin
Vice Chair: David Langhout
Finance Chair: Sherry Edwards
Secretary: Jeffrey Grebe
Ex-Officio: Renee Snyder, Executive Director
Board Member Emeritus: