Serious Progress, Call to Action, and News from the ReStore

SERIOUS PROGRESS!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a near halt of the US economy and exposed the housing crisis. Habitat is here to help.

According to the July 29, 2020 U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, those individuals in low-income households (i.e., those making less than $50,000) expect to suffer high rates of job loss within the next month. The survey shows that 30% of individuals in lower-income households had slight or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s mortgage payment, as compared to 14% in June. It is even more distressing when we look at the rental situation. 42% of individuals in lower-income households had slight or no confidence in their ability to pay next month’s rent.

Meanwhile, according to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-home price for all housing types in July increased to $304,000 from $295,300 in June, up 8.5% from July 2019. For the first time ever, national median home prices breached the $300,000 level. Increasing home prices restrict housing affordability. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 59.6% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning an adjusted U.S. median income of $72,900.

Affording safe reliable housing is proving difficult with so many folks out of work, laid off, and indefinitely furloughed. According to a report from JP Morgan Chase titled, “The potential economic impacts of COVID-19 on families, small businesses, and communities”, deeper and longer income dips are a leading indicator of mortgage delinquencies. This is true regardless of homeowner’s income level, home equity, or mortgage payment burden. We know that delinquency occurs within 30-60 days of the income shock. Homeowners who fell further into mortgage delinquency experienced negative income shocks 73% larger than those who stayed current or recovered. The default rate for borrowers with little in savings was seven times higher than the default rate for borrowers with at least four mortgage payment equivalents held in reserve.

So yes, COVID has created some very real shocks to the housing situation. Habitat is here to help. Our volunteers, donors and staff are meeting these challenging days head on. To date, despite COVID 19, our virtual Walk to Build successfully raised over $30,000 for safe affordable housing, our Weatherization and Repair teams are currently improving over two dozen houses throughout Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Northern Cumberland Counties, and our latest new home build project in Boothbay Harbor is nearly done. It has been slow going for sure, but we are progressing. We are moving forward. The excitement is building!

Thank you.

Adam W. Lacher
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine

adam@habitat7rivers.org

CALL TO ACTION…

1) NEW HOME BUILD
Sheltering in place has highlighted in recent months just how crucial it is to have a home that is safe and affordable. With your help, that dream will become a reality for Jake and Shelby and their two young children Graycin and Freyja. Click here to make this dream come true

2) WEATHERIZATION & REPAIR
With another Maine Winter on its way, Habitat for Humanity’s Weatherization and Repair Volunteer Teams have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 are helping local low-income homeowners complete crucial home repairs and modifications. You can be part of changing lives for neighbors in your community by making a donation Click here to make a donation today

3) RESTORE REVIVAL
The ReStore is not only a great place to score a great deal, it is also a great place to find some relief from your pandemic related stresses. Volunteering at the ReStore is a cure for feeling helpless, and it is a great way to stay socially connected. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities

RESTORE NEWS: The Restore is open 9 AM to 3 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

RESTORE HIGH DEMAND: Refrigerators & Freezers

Do you or anyone you know have a fridge or a freezer ready to donate? Any size will do.. it just needs to actually work. With so many folks out of work due to COVID, it’s become clear how important the ReStore is to the community. We receive calls everyday from folks looking for low priced essentials. Fridges and freezers have been at the top of the list.  You can currently drop off items in person at the back of the store anytime between 9am and 3pm, Tuesday through Saturday If you need a pick up please e-mail the ReStore or call 207-504-9340

NOW OPEN: 2ND FLOOR FURNITURE SHOWROOMS!

We have successfully expanded the ReStore up into the second floor of the building. Here you will find three furniture showrooms chock full of upholstered items. We have couches, sofas, love seats, recliners, and more. You’ll also find framed mirrors and artwork for sale. It’s not just a showroom… it’s a gallery!

For the safety of all we do require you to wear a face covering to shop with us. Thank you for understanding.

Our Mission

Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine creates successful homeownership opportunities for families with limited incomes by building sustainable housing, and repairing, weatherizing and modifying existing homes.

Office

126 Main St.
Topsham, ME 04086
Phone: (207) 504-9333
info@Habitat7Rivers.org

ReStore

Open to the Public
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm
For At Risk Customers
Tuesday – Friday 9:00 – 10:00 am
Closed on Sun.,  Mon., & Holidays
Phone: (207) 504-9340