Hot housing market poses challenges for Habitat for Humanity

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The hot housing market is great for people looking to sell their homes, but for organizations like Habitat for Humanity it creates a challenge to continue to serve families.

Families who qualify to buy a Habitat for Humanity home help build other Habitat houses and their own.

They then buy their home with a no-interest mortgage.

Photo: WKRN
Families who qualify to buy a Habitat for Humanity home help build other Habitat houses and their own. (Photo: WKRN)

Horton and his wife Danielle closed on their Park Preserve area home last November.

“Life is different. We don’t have to worry about leases and rent,” Dwight Horton said. “It’s just a good feeling knowing that it is yours and it’s going to be there.”

The couple is finishing the Habitat for Humanity buying process, but still plan to be involved with the organization.

“Just to see all the volunteers there helping when you are building is a great thing,” Danielle Horton said.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville is able to serve around 50 families a year.

But the same market forces that are challenging other home builders like land price, competition for skilled labor and increasing assessed value is impacting HFH.

In Nashville, the median price for a residential home has increased 11 percent from last year, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

Habitat is working with community partners like the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and mayor’s office to get affordable land to continue to build their houses.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

“In some cases through the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing we can sometimes get land at a lower cost or free in some cases,” Rhodes said. “That will help us keep building in Nashville.”

The organization is also considering higher density developments.

The goal is to keep helping the same amount of families despite being a home builder that like others is facing big obstacles.

“It is radically different because our incomes are flat but the cost of housing, the cost of land is rising rapidly and it is just going to get worse,” Danny Rhodes with HFH said. “The numbers don’t work at some point.”

The houses are all built to Energy STAR standards.

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