Lumber Shortage Delaying Habitat for Humanity Home Building
Habitat for Humanity has been serving communities by building homes for families in need for almost 50 years, but the non-profit’s work has been disrupted by the price surge of lumber.
Scott Gregory Executive Director of the Montgomery Habitat for Humanity has seen the price of lumber increase up to 40% this year. Gregory says this is because during the pandemic lumber supply went down, but demand for it went up.
“Its a measurable impact on what it costs us not only to build a home, but depending on when we are rehabilitating a home, the kind of rehabilitation we have to do,” Gregory said.
The Autauga/Chilton Counties Habitat for Humanity said prices are so high that a home they are currently building wouldn’t be possible to build if it weren’t for donors who are providing the lumber.
“We could not possibly have started this house so soon,” Tom Risher Autauga/Chilton Counties HFH Chairman of the Board said. “It would have been into the fall maybe even the winter before we could have started this home.”
Sheets of lumber that were $8 pre-pandemic have even gone up to $45. Gregory said it’s not just lumber prices that are going up. Its dry wall, tile, and pretty much any construction material you could imagine.
“Any home builder I think is struggling with the price change,” Gregory said.
Both Habitat for Humanity branches are eager to move past this to serve the community.
“We really want to get these lumber prices down so we can afford to build our next house,” Risher said.
“We’re here for the long term,” Gregory said. “We’ve been serving this community since 1987. We’ll continue to serve the community. If we have to delay things a few weeks or months to make sure that we’re making the best use of the resources that the community has entrusted us with and doing the best to serve the communities that we’re making outreach to, then we’re going to do that.”
Gregory says that looking at lumber futures, prices are starting to come down from their highs. He is hopeful that in the next three to six months prices will approach pre-pandemic levels.
Habitat for Humanity is looking for families in Autauga and Chilton Counties to be selected for their next homes. You can call 365-4132 for a selection interview.