Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Habitat for Humanity East Bay's Material Re-Use Program

Builders and renovators stuck with left over material have a win-win option. Habitat for Humanity East Bay picks up many building and renovation materials for free. The donation is tax-deductible.

Donations are used in Habitat for Humanity East Bay's housing developments or sold at The ReStore near the Oakland airport. The ReStore -- a place that Terry McSweeney of KGO-TV (ABC 7) calls, "A handyman's dream..." -- offers new and lightly-used building and renovation supplies at 50-75% off retail. Nearby residents, many of whom are on a tight budget, get the opportunity to buy quality material at affordable prices.

Rest assured that funds raised go toward construction. Habitat for Humanity International earned the coveted 4-Star Charity Navigator rating for sound fiscal management.

Over 1,000 tons of donated material was re-used instead of landing in dumps last year. That makes Frank Atkins, ReStore Manager, feel good. What makes him feel even better is the impact that the donation program has on Habitat homeowners. "We're helping build sustainable homes that limited-income families can actually afford, since the mortgage is interest-free and "sweat equity" (labor on the jobsite) counts as the down payment."

Mohamed Saleh, Habitat resident, says, "Habitat has had a huge impact on my family because not only are my parents able to afford a house for the first time, but they are also putting together a program to help first generation students get into college."

Now that's a win-win.

For more information: ( or call the Habitat for Humanity East Bay donation line at 510-777-9706.

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