Habitat for Humanity Sees the Impact of Rising Inflation


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — Inflation is forcing consumers and producers to find ways to cope with rising prices. But organizations that provide services at little or no cost face a daunting challenge.

Habitat for Humanity builds and refurbishes affordable housing for families in need.

As materials become more expensive, Brittany Scanlon, executive director of The Cedar Valley chapter, said they have few options for dealing with inflation as a nonprofit.

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

Scanlon has said in the past that buying homes to fix is ​​a way for them to be more profitable. But in today’s market, it doesn’t save them as much as before.

“We had to reduce some of the new construction. We also have the possibility of doing more home rehabilitations. However, it is becoming difficult because of the real estate market at the moment,” Scanlon said.

Inflation doesn’t just affect Habitat either.

Russel Porter, owner of Porter Construction, said he saw an increase in the costs of the items he needed to run his business first-hand.

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

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

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

“We still want to focus on new construction. And that’s really what Cedar Valley Habitat is known for, it’s our new construction. Because we want to reduce this gap. So obviously that’s still our goal, but we just can’t kind of close that gap as quickly as we hoped,” Scanlon said.

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