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Morris Habitat for Humanity

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Home Improvement & Repairs, Homeless & Housing, Housing Development, Construction & Management, Housing Rehabilitation

Mission: Morris Habitat for Humanity''s mission is to enhance lives by making home ownership possible for low-income families in need of decent housing but whose incomes are insufficient to purchase homes through conventional means. Founded in 1985 by a small group of concerned citizens, Morris Habitat seeks to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action in Morris County, NJ. As one of the wealthiest counties (by median income) in the U.S., Morris County''s poverty housing is well hidden. Habitat works to integrate low-income families into the mainstream through home ownership.

Results: In demonstration of the positive impact of Morris Habitat’s homebuilding program, we have not had a foreclosure in our almost 30 year history. All of our families pay their mortgages on time, maintain their homes and see real change in their lives. In fact in 2013, four of our long term homeowners completed payments on their homes and we celebrated with a mortgage burning! They report satisfaction with their homes and new neighborhoods, manage household budgets, and are able to save for the future, even retirement. Morris Habitat for Humanity is known for its volunteer program, involving members of the community in working together for affordable housing. Our research surveys show that over 20% of our volunteers have been with us over 5 years and that 98% of those responding would continue volunteering with us. Further, 100% said they would recommend volunteering with us to others. Since 2008, the last seven projects (14 units) costs were under budget by 22% through effective in kind donations of materials and services and established cost management practices. We anticipate similar cost savings as well as homeowner and volunteer impact for the project. Morris Habitat’s plays a unique role in the long-term development and resiliency of our communities. Our program helps bridge the gap to home ownership for lower income households. Since the economic downturn, lower-income homeowners who obtained their homes through Morris Habitat were more likely to weather the economic downturn thanks to the prudent approach we take to mortgage lending. Higher levels of home ownership typically produce healthier neighborhoods, and ongoing research strongly points to homeowners as the anchors of their communities who are not only financially invested in where they live, but are also more likely to build the relationships with their neighbors that cultivate the stable communities that all Americans desire.

Target demographics: lower income families with a variety of housing solutions - creating new opportunities for home ownership, and assisting lower income homeowners with home preservation work, uniting communities and improving neighborhoods.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5 new homeowner families, 10 low income homeowner families with home repairs, 11,000 volunteer visits.

Geographic areas served: Morris County, NJ, to bring people together build homes, communities and hope.

Programs: Home ownership opportunities; Home Repair and preservation work; Volunteer opportunities; ReStore- selling new and gently used building supplies and furnishings to the public.

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