Habitat for Humanity sees higher price tag for building homes

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Over the past year, the price of construction materials has surged. The sudden price spike created obstacles for some affordable housing organizations.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County expects the cost of building a home to increase by 25% to 40%. That boost is because of rising prices for lumber, drywall, and appliances.

“We are entirely supported by our community,” said Stephanie Fost, executive director for the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County.

Community funding and donations of time, resources, and dollars allow Habitat to build affordable housing for neighbors at all walks of life.

After recently finishing a project in Bellefonte, they’re looking to start building another home in a nearby empty lot.

“Right now we’re kind of in that assessment phase,” said Fost. “We’ve submitted for permits and all of those pieces, and now we’re looking at, what’s that budget look like.”

Fost said they’re wise with their donor’s dollars and work to keep mortgage prices low.

However, with prices rising, she said, “If they stay where they’re at today, we’re expecting about 25 to 40 thousand dollars more in expenses to us and our families to build the home.”

In 2020, the price of an average piece of lumber was about $16. If you bought that same slab today, it’d cost you about $21 dollars.

“We hope that we’ve hit a peak with the costs, but nobody really knows,” said Fost.

Habitat recently had some very successful funding efforts through Centre Gives, and they say it’s up to the communities support to keep costs under control.

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