Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity builds homes, hope and communities in Hampshire and Franklin Counties.
"Habitat is like love in action," said a Pioneer Valley Habitat family who had just moved into their home.
Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical housing ministry whose goal is to make home ownership possible for low-income families in Hampshire and Franklin counties. Through the donation of money, land, expertise and labor, we commit ourselves to build safe, decent, affordable homes in partnership with families in need.
The need here is great. Few families in Hampshire and Franklin counties live in shacks, but 69% of low-income renting households are what HUD calls “cost-burdened,” spending more than a third of their income for shelter. Increased building costs, a decrease in total housing stock, and cutbacks in government programs have combined to force housing costs up. Today, it would take a minimum wage earner 125 hours of work a week to pay the fair market rent on a two-bedroom unit in Massachusetts. Families in the shrinking supply of subsidized housing are locked in, as rents go up with income. Moreover, mortgages, in these units are gradually being privatized.
Since it was formed, Pioneer Valley Habitat has raised funds from individuals, corporations, churches, and foundations to build homes. Thirty-one families have become homeowners, eighteen of them headed by single mothers, two by single fathers. Thirty-one adults and seventy-seven children have lived in PVH homes. Additionally, our tithe has also built at least an equal number of homes in Haiti, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Our families have become integral, tax-paying members of their communities; their mortgage payments help to build more houses.
We build communities by working with people from all backgrounds and skill levels to build homes. On any build day in Northampton, Amherst, Turners Falls, or Easthampton, one will find university students, church members, youth groups, professionals, and neighbors all working side by side witht the Habitat family to build an affordable and decent home. We provide hands on oppotunities for communities to pull together to accomplish something life changing for thier new neighbor.