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It Starts with US - November 2019
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I Just Wanted To Cry . . . It's So Beautiful

These were the emotional words expressed by Fresno resident Rosemary Burgos just a little over a week ago as she stepped into her home that had just been newly-remodeled by Habitat Greater Fresno Area in partnership with the City of Fresno and thanks to the generosity of Habitat donors who made up the difference after hearing Rosemary’s story. 
 
You may remember her. She is the 74-year old grandmother who lived in her home four long years with water pouring through massive holes in the roof of her kitchen, dining room and bedroom every time it rained. See the first story shared on ABC30 just a few months ago
 
All of the water damage over time meant Habitat’s remodeling tasks included installing a new roof and interior flooring, making repairs to the foundation and clearing dangerous mildew and asbestos.
 
These were all things Rosemary couldn’t possibly do on her own. She lives on a very limited monthly income from social security that barely covers her mortgage and had no choice but to let everything fall into further disrepair even as her family tried to talk her into selling her home and living with one of them.
 
Each time, their requests would be met with Rosemary pleading, “No, this is my home, this is where I raised you, please don’t take it away.” And, the stress and worry of the home falling further into disrepair took its toll on Rosemary.

She could barely walk; she was depressed, and she was having trouble breathing. 

But, no more. “Since she found out that the community was rallying together to love her home through Habitat,” explained Matthew Grundy, Habitat CEO, “she’s off that walker and she has a brand-new outlook on life to go with what feels like a brand-new home for her.” 

This is how we build hope at Habitat. And this Thanksgiving, we are thankful to you for being a part of this amazing project and thereby loving an amazing woman in our community.

Please take a moment to watch the reveal here
Before the repairs and replacement 
After the repairs and replacement 

Habitat Hosts Roundtable Conversation on Affordable Housing

Increasing the development of affordable housing really matters to us and that is why we invited 30+ local leaders to a roundtable discussion requested by California Assemblyman Tim Grayson in Fresno.  The discussion was the first of four requested statewide by the Assemblyman to receive suggestions on the best ways to reform housing construction fees to include in legislation he’s crafting for comprehensive fee reform with the objective of making housing more affordable in California.
 
Habitat was asked to help not only because of our increased involvement in housing affordability advocacy as members of Habitat California’s Legislative Committee, but also because we’re a stakeholder as an affordable housing developer in our area. 
 
The conversation was robust as representatives of cities and counties, flood control districts, economic development organizations and market-rate housing developers offered insight on how to proceed.  
 
Our CEO, Matthew Grundy moderated the discussion with the Assemblyman as leaders discussed alternative funding sources available to local jurisdictions to offset fee reductions and still maintain vital public services such as flood and fire protections, etc. and discussed ideas to streamline systems to make owning or renting a home more affordable for our low-income residents.
 
Here is what we know and why we need to address this:
  • In Fresno County 60% of those who rent their own home are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing, while another 20% spend at least half of their income on rent.
We always hear about how affordable housing is in our area, but the statistics say otherwise.  In contrast, statewide, only half of all renters are rent-burdened.
 
The number of people that own their own homes also fares worse locally: 
  • In Fresno only 45% of residents own their home compared to the statewide average of more than 55%. 
To increase awareness of this serious issue and to also invite residents to submit their ideas to the Assemblyman, read our CEO's column published in The Fresno Bee November 16th right here
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Copyright © 2019  Habitat for Humanity Fresno County
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Habitat for Humanity Fresno County
4991 East McKinley Avenue, Suite 123
Fresno, CA. 93727

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