Volunteers help at a Habitat for Humanity home

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Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg Annual Report Reflects Nonprofit’s Perseverance Despite Unprecedented Challenges

Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg’s mission to bring the community together by building homes and hope did not change in 2021 despite unprecedented challenges faced by the nonprofit related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local Habitat affiliate released its annual report earlier this month that noted many of its families are front-line workers who deserve a home at the end of a long day. Despite a labor shortage and escalating lumber and land costs, homeowners purchased eight Habitat homes in 2021 with seven additional currently under construction. Plans are in place to build nine others in 2022.

“We’re grateful for the ongoing support of our community that allows more families to live in a place they can call home,” said Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. “Our goals for 2022 are the same as the past 37 years — continue offering a hand up, not a hand out, by building homes, community and hope in partnership with qualified families.”

The annual report celebrates the significant milestones of the past year that also include:

  • Habitat’s 3D-printed home under construction in Williamsburg, the first of its kind for Habitat for Humanity on the East Coast
  • More than 600,000 customers visiting the Habitat ReStores in Newport News and Williamsburg in the last year. Donations and volunteer hours increased at the ReStores, which experienced record sales. ReStore proceeds go back into the community to construct new homes
  • Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg continuing to advocate to create policy solutions that address the need for affordable housing locally. Those efforts include the passage of the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to support building and rehabilitating homes in distressed communities.

Habitat’s annual report also paid tribute to its founder, Lorraine Austin and her husband, Ed. Both lost their lives after a fatal car accident in July.

“Both Habitat and our entire community suffered an enormous loss with their passing,” Green said. “They will always be a part of everything we do.”

Habitat looks to the new year with an optimistic budget that will allow the nonprofit to continue to partner with families in need. Its first major fundraiser for 2022 on Feb. 19, will be the return of Raise the Roof, a fun evening of food and music with a live and silent auction that earmarks proceeds back into the community to build more homes. The event was not held in person in 2021 due to the pandemic.

“In normal times, our mission calls for us to bring people together to build and repair homes in our communities while striving to find new pathways to decent, affordable housing,” Green said. “In this season of continued unprecedented challenges, we are building on our culture of innovation and responsiveness to aggressively attend to community needs for more affordable housing.”

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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.