Habitat for Humanity Solola Guatemala
The "Habitat for Humanity" house probable cost $ 400,000 when you take into the cost of airfare,food,lodging,gear,cameras to record their heroic deeds,Paid time off for volunteers,tax breaks for companies letting volunteers go,medical insurance,travel insurance,baby sitters @ home for the married volunteers, not to mention building supplies and beer.
$ 400,000 probale would break even or they could have just sent $ 400,000 to a local builder to build 35 homes with furniture.....but you can't trust the locals....
I've worked on a few of these. Imagine the cost to fly in President Carter and his crew and security for a picture op.
In New Orleans they were building houses so that the Blues Players could come back and live there, bringing music back to the town. These houses were surrounded with abandoned houses that only needed a little work to be "habitable" but were abandoned due the constraints that the city put on the owners.
It is not only tax dollars that are wasted, charity dollars are also. Maybe more so since Governments at least have a tiny bit of accountability.
But at least charity $ are not taken at gun point.
From The Sunday Times
January 4, 2009
RESIDENTS of a model housing estate bankrolled by Hollywood celebrities and hand-built by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, are complaining that it is falling apart.
Fairway Oaks was built on northern Florida wasteland by 10,000 volunteers, including Carter, in a record 17-day “blitz” organised by the charity Habitat for Humanity.
Eight years later it is better known for cockroaches, mildew and mysterious skin rashes.
A forthcoming legal battle over Fairway Oaks threatens the reputation of a charity envied for the calibre of its celebrity supporters, who range from Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt to Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Helena Bonham Carter.
The case could challenge the bedrock philosophy behind Habitat for Humanity, claiming that using volunteers, rather than professional builders, is causing as many problems as it solves.
I give to working people. A nice 50 dollar tip goes a long way for a person working. But 50 dollars goes for booze and drugs for those who don't work.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor—sweat equity—into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
Of course, if they really wanted to make housing affordable, they would build apartments and offer them cheap to the poor. Oh, wait, that is already being done here in the US and I am being held at gunpoint to help pay for it. It's called Low Income Housing.
At least Habitat for Humanity makes the people pay for the house and work on others and learn the value of responsibility. The families are also chosen using some decnet criteria. And by doing it with donations, people are choosing to help, rather than being forced to.
Thanks, Alan V: Well said. I agree wholeheartedly with helping people to own and build their own houses. But how we go about it nowadays leaves a lot to be desired. I am trying to help create some disaster housing here in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala where I live part-time, and had just got here when Hurricane Agatha struck a few days ago. I emerged unscathed, but over 200 people are sleeping on the cold concrete floor of the local gymnasium. This includes women and children, who have lost everything, even their shoes.
What is the best way to go about helping to create disaster shelters? I have seen so much money wasted - by both sides - just a few years ago when Hurricane Stan hit, and it took YEARS for the area to recover. Now more, including a volcano explosion, just four years later. Anyone have any ideas?
I've also written to Global Village Shelters, and am hoping they will reply. www.gvshelters.com
Contact me directly at CTodd1000@gmail.com, Catherine Todd (blog and Facebook and more)