Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia is in a period of strategic growth. In Fiscal Year 2018, we served more than 130 families, launched an ambitious 10-year plan, and cultivated the necessary partnerships to make it happen.
Through a deep dive into the organization’s capabilities, there was unanimous agreement on one theme: We want to serve more Philadelphia families. How do we get closer to our vision of a Philadelphia where everyone has a decent place to live?
As a start, new pipelines for our Home Repair Program address the link between housing and health. Through the Build Health Challenge in partnership with CHOP, Habitat will work with homeowners on improvements that will reduce childhood asthma triggers, and lower incidences of emergency room visits. The CAPABLE (Communities Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders) program will partner with occupational therapists and nurses from Jefferson and Drexel to work with older homeowners. This work will improve home accessibility and safety, and remove barriers to accomplishing everyday tasks.
In addition to building new pipelines, our Home Repair Program continued the traditional neighborhood-based approach to serve homeowners in Belmont in West Philadelphia and Sharswood in North Philadelphia. In Sharswood, home repairs are one piece of our expanding Neighborhood Revitalization work. As one of 10 Habitats across the country to be designated as a member of the Neighborhood Revitalization Learning Cohort, our commitment to the Sharswood neighborhood will span five years, and we will study the impact of our work on quality of life enhancements for residents.
Our Homeownership Program will soon pivot to the Sharswood neighborhood as well, with 20 new homes slated for construction at our future Oxford Green site. Our new home construction projects will continue to be big, bold, and foster community while keeping homeownership opportunities accessible and equitable. In the report below, you will read about how Atiya, a new homeowner and mother of three, was confident in moving her life from South Philly to North Philly because she had the strength of 20 new Habitat neighbors on her side. We will continue to build and grow that sense of community wherever this work takes us in Philadelphia.
Now, more than ever, we must continue to ensure that more people are able to find or maintain a decent place to call home. The need in our city continues to be extraordinary: 43 percent of the population is housing cost-burdened, paying a disproportionate percentage of income on rent, mortgages, or repairs. Typical rent for a two-bedroom apartment is upwards of $1,000 per month, and the median Philadelphia home was built in 1945, now requiring expensive upkeep to remain in livable condition.
With that in mind, thank you for the role you play — whatever it may be — in building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. We are humbled to have you on this journey as we tackle the challenges ahead.
Chief Executive Officer