Habitat for Humanity of Broward Dedicates Three Homes in The Historic District of Miramar

by Trena Brae

Three Broward families attended the dedication of their forever home on Saturday, November 21, thanks to a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity of Broward and the City of Miramar.

The partnership is part of a six-home affordable housing development created to provide safe, decent new homes to low-income working families in need of affordable housing.

City of Miramar Mayor, Wayne M. Messam, congratulated the families and thanked the sponsors and Habitat Broward.

“Habitat for Humanity is helping Miramar in a big way by providing beautiful homes for residents addressing our city’s affordable needs, ” said Messam.

Charles Family Photo - Habitat for Humanity of Broward Dedicates Three Homes in The Historic District of Miramar

“This is the result of so much hard work and heart,” said Nancy Robin, Habitat Broward CEO and Executive Director. “I’m immensely proud of each and every one of our families for making today happen, and so very thankful to the City of Miramar for donating the land and to all our sponsors, and volunteers, who made the completion of these homes possible.”

When COVID-19 forced Habitat Broward to cancel its volunteer workforce, Robin and her staff made the decision to hire skilled subcontractors for plumbing, electric and carpentry, all under strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. As a result, the homes were completed this year to make sure families who had worked throughout the year to achieve their dream of homeownership would see that dream come true.

New Habitat homeowners Gerald and Kathiana Charles worked multiple jobs while completing the Habitat program to provide a home for their family. Gerald Charles works as a bus driver and as a security guard and Kathiana Charles is a cake decorator while attending college to further her career.

“Thanks to Habitat and its partners, we are finally moving into the house of our dreams,” said Kathiana Charles.

Through Habitat, hardworking families can obtain a modest home with a mortgage kept to 30 percent of household income. To do this they must first give 300 hours of sweat equity to build their homes and the homes of their neighbors, attend a year of homeownership classes and make a small down payment. Families are selected based on an online application, credit and background check, and evidence of their need for safe housing. The Habitat homeownership application can be found online at habitatbroward.org.

This project was also supported by Family Home sponsors Burdette Beckmann, Inc. and Robert Taylor, Jr., and Sunbeam Television/WSVN Channel 7. House Foundation sponsors included Publix Supermarkets Charities and TIAA Bank; and Blueprint Sponsors, HG Charitable Foundation, Gore Family Memorial Foundation, Holman Automotive, Wells Fargo Foundation and Sunshine Health.

Additionally, you can show your support to Habitat Broward on Giving Tuesday, a nationwide day of giving back, to help local, deserving families build strength, stability and self-reliance though homeownership. Every donation will be matched dollar for dollar now through December 1.

Forty Percent of Habitat Homeowners Have No Work or Less Work Due to COVID-19

A new study by Habitat Broward has found more than 40 percent of the homeowners it serves have been furloughed, laid off, or had their hours cut due to COVID-19.

Not surprisingly, 27 percent of the more than 350 working families polled reported financial strain, including an inability to pay bills for utilities and essentials like groceries.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward CEO and Executive Director, Nancy Robin said the results demonstrate that low-income working families are already struggling with the impact of a shuttered Broward.

“As the economic shocks from this crisis ripple out, these are the families that are being hardest hit; they always are,” said Robin. “As more businesses close and hourly workers lose jobs, we’re going to need to work just as hard to flatten the curve of economic insecurity as we are COVID-19.”

The Community Foundation of Broward and other partner organizations are helping Habitat Broward to provide immediate relief to families in danger of losing ground on the tremendous strides they have made towards economic independence.

Part of Habitat’s study has involved calls to hundreds of Broward residents, like homeowner, Rudy Simpson, who was laid off at a shipping company and his wife Tricia’s hours have been severely cut.

“We’re low on money and food but are filled with hope and pray this will get better soon,” said Tricia Simpson.

“Now, more than ever, low-income working families like the Simpsons need our support,” said Robin. “Bold, decisive action and partners like the Community Foundation will help us do just that.”

Habitat Broward continues to build homes during the crisis and will conduct its first ever virtual dedication ceremony on May 16th for four families moving to homes they have worked more than a year for.

As the state and South Florida cautiously begin the reopening process, Habitat predicts that income and financial health will lag behind for these families who are often one or two paychecks away from financial collapse. The support of partners like the Community Foundation of Broward, the City of Pompano Beach, faith–based organizations and campaigns like the new Giving Tuesday NOW on May 5th prompted by COVID-19, provide urgently needed resources to bridge this gap.

To support Habitat’s efforts and find out about its efforts to combat COVID-19 visit habitatbroward.org