Habitat for Humanity: Building Homes for a Better Future

a Habitat for Humanity team working together to build a home.

As Central Florida faces an affordable housing crisis, one local nonprofit is focused on providing safe, affordable homes for the community. Driven by a belief that everyone deserves a safe place to live, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County builds affordable housing, revitalizes neighborhoods, and strengthens communities. Over the last 36 years, Habitat Orlando & Osceola has built, rehabbed and repaired nearly 800 homes.  

Families and individuals who partner with the nonprofit make a personal and financial investment in their future and maintain all the responsibilities that come with owning a home, including paying closing costs, mortgage, insurance and taxes.

“When people become homeowners, they gain so much more than a home,” says Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County President & CEO Catherine Steck McManus. “Homeownership leads to improved financial and housing stability, and better health, educational, and early childhood development outcomes.”

Making Homeownership Affordable 

Habitat Orlando & Osceola meets the critical need for safe, affordable housing and financial stability through donations and grants. Over 78,000 households in Orlando & Osceola County are low-income and pay more than 40% toward rent, according to Shimberg Center for Housing Studies.

Financial Education & Mentorship 

Habitat Orlando & Osceola homebuyers must complete homeownership and financial education classes that provide a foundation for success as homeowners.

Additionally, the nonprofit’s financial mentoring program helps potential first-time homebuyers address financial challenges that are barriers to good credit and homeownership. They are also working toward becoming a HUD-certified housing counselor so they can magnify their impact.

Home Preservation

While Habitat Orlando & Osceola focuses on getting people safe, affordable homes, they are also invested in making sure families and the elderly can remain safe and sound in their own homes.

Through its roof replacement program, funded by Orange County, Habitat Orlando & Osceola helps local homeowners get new roofs at no charge. For most of these residents, this program is the only option to keep their home safe. 

After Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Central Florida, Habitat Orlando & Osceola committed to helping the community rebuild and recover. They implemented a Cleanup Bucket Drive to collect essential cleaning supplies, safety gear and tarps for those affected. 

Policy & Advocacy 

Habitat Orlando & Osceola is taking a greater role in addressing the severe housing crisis in Central Florida. This includes understanding what it means for the health and equity of our community.

Habitat has recently added dedicated staff to focus on policy, innovation and strategic initiatives that have bolstered our research and analysis capacity. In order to truly address the problem, we need to pursue collaborative innovation necessary to face the housing crisis.

When you give, your donation does more than build a home — it’s an investment into our region. Homeownership creates jobs, revitalizes neighborhoods, attracts employers, increases consumer spending and government revenues, and lowers the risk of foreclosure, all while bringing transformative benefits to families. To donate to a cause that directly impacts the communities in which we live and work, visit www.HabitatOrlando.org

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Written by Staff Writer

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