As we share in the sadness, anger and uncertainty that have rocked communities across the United States since the killing of George Floyd — protests of the systemic and racial injustice that have infused and informed the life of our nation — we recognize that we must do more. I must do more." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
Building with hammers and voices
Throughout Habitat's history, our work has been a vehicle for reconciliation that has broken down barriers between people. We work alongside those willing to partner with us, no matter their background or walk of life, and that will always be true.
We will continue to build with our hammers, build connections among community members; and build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
At the same time, we must also do a better job of directly addressing systemic barriers to affordable housing, and we must work to eradicate those barriers.
Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans, and including mortgage redlining in Rochester — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that still persist today.
Organizations like Habitat that work on housing must understand that history, understand that its legacy still affects our neighbors and neighborhoods today, and it must inform our work moving forward.
In addition to being a space where people of all races, all faiths and all backgrounds can come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that Black Lives Matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
At the link below you will find further details of Habitat for Humanity's commitments, including steps that are being undertaken now, a great list of actions that you can take with us, and a list of educational materials (to read or watch).
We know we can't do everything on these lists all at once; but as individual staff members, volunteers, and supporters — we can each commit to starting with one. Start with one action today.
As a local Habitat affiliate, we are also committing to walking alongside and supporting each other as we undertake this essential work.
We will occasionally send bigger updates to everyone (like this one), but if you would like to receive more frequent, step-by-step updates about our advocacy, education, and social justice work, please update your email preferences here.
Act now: Tell Congress you support housing stability and Habitat during COVID-19 pandemic
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, families are facing both a public health and an economic crisis. The longer it goes on, the more this pandemic also becomes a housing emergency.
We need you to add your voice now to tell Congress to act for housing stability.
More than 18 million families in the U.S. pay more than half of their income on housing, leaving little or no margin for lost income or increased health costs. Many of those families are facing additional economic hardship from lost wages or layoffs and are now confronted with impossible choices between trying to pay their rent or mortgage and life’s other essentials.
Even before the pandemic, far too many families were already facing these circumstances. These are the families with whom we partner. They are going to need our hand up now more than ever.
Congress needs to act to support these families. It also needs to support nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities. Congress is considering additional economic relief legislation, and Habitat is hard at work leading efforts to provide support for our homeowners and other low-income families financially impacted by the pandemic. We’re also fighting for financial support for Habitat organizations and other nonprofits, whose work will be so vitally important as we recover from this pandemic.
The CARES Act included some measures to provide economic relief for families and businesses, but Congress needs to go further to support families struggling to afford life’s essentials and nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities.
Join us in calling on members of Congress to prioritize the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them.
Partnership to build homes for those with autism
The Autism Council of Rochester, Inc. has created a new partnership with Flower City
Habitat for Humanity to create a unique housing program for individuals and families
with children & adults living with Autism. This partnership is a first-of-its-kind in New
York State and its focus will be to remove barriers which prevent our families from fully
participating in homeownership, including the families in the build process and the
necessary accommodations for Sensory Needs Modifications, which may be a
challenge for individuals on the spectrum and possibly prevent them from being able to
enjoy their physical surroundings and comfort within their home.
The program currently has five applicants in the process.
"We are very excited about the new housing program and the steps being taken to
serve a vastly underserved group in our community. As a parent of someone living with
autism, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges living situations can create on a
daily basis," said Lawana Jones, Founder & Executive Director of the Autism Council.
“We are truly gratified to be in partnership with the Autism Council of Rochester. We
look forward to providing homes that will allow each individual to be fully supported
and truly benefit from their living environment. We know the impact on our homebuyers
and their families will be a lasting one,” said Matt Flanigan, CEO, Flower City Habitat
for Humanity. “We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve our mission
of building homeownership, communities, and hope.”
Groundbreaking for the initial two homes in the program will begin in June 2019.
For more information on the next round of applications for the housing program, please
Advocacy Action: Let lawmakers know you stand with families partnering with Habitat to build a better future.
A couple weeks ago, Ken Braley, our Development & Volunteer Engagement Manager, was one of 350 Habitat advocates in Washington DC working to elevate the issue of affordable housing and meeting with legislators on specific ways that the US Congress can help Habitat serve more families nationwide.
Now, you can learn more about the programs that we are seeking support for and ADD YOUR VOICE at: https://www.habitat.org/about/advocacy/take-action
Get the latest news and events from Flower City Habitat via email. Click here for email updates.