Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity
Recently we had a company picnic – you know, the kind where bosses get dunked in a tank courtesy of gleeful dry employees. To vote for certain dunkees you pledged dollars to Habitat for Humanity and those who drew top dollar got wet. More than $3000 was raised!
That reminded me of an experience I once had with Habitat. It was an office community work project where we spent a day working at a Habitat complex in South Seattle. Among other jobs, we were to paint an exterior wall, so one brave soul painted from the top of a tall ladder, and others were on shorter ladders or at ground level. We got all done — and realized we had painted ourselves into a corner. The ladder was surrounded by wet paint, except for the two foot square where it leaned against the house.
We scratched our heads, then moved the ladder around the corner and a long-armed volunteer reached carefully and blindly to the unpainted spot while everyone yelled, “More to the right,” “Now down a bit” – you get the picture.
Now it seems Habitat for Humanity has been painted into a corner too, at least in a hot housing market like Seattle. The Seattle Times reports that land is too expensive in King and Snohomish Counties for Habitat to continue to build its traditional single-family bungalows on single-family lots. Habitat is buying fixer-uppers that need remodeling, or helping low-income folks remodel their existing homes. They’re also selling houses without the land, and even relocating some. They are thinking creatively to try and get out of this corner, painted for them by the current real estate market.