Richmond Metro Habitat for Humanity struggles with high construction costs, delays


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The Richmond Metro Habitat for Humanity is struggling with the high price of construction materials which has caused delays in building homes for families in need.

The foundations have been put down for two of the three homes Habitat for Humanity is building along State Street. The third home is almost complete but costs $25,000 more than normal to build because of the high prices of materials like lumber.

“It’s just made things very chaotic,” Richmond Metro Habitat for Humanity CEO Mary Kay Huss told 8News Tuesday.

The organization is facing many of the same construction delays and pricing issues, all while trying to help families in need like the Halsey’s who’ve been through a lot, patiently waiting for their new home.

“From everywhere between house fires and losing all of our documentation, to struggling for about a year and change with homelessness,” Matthew Halsey said.

The majority of the construction on the Halsey’s home has been completed. The last part volunteers need to add to the home are the steps. (Photo: 8News Reporter Sabrina Shutters)

The organization has faced the high prices of lumber, a lack of volunteers at one point during the pandemic and months-long delays on appliances and windows.

“The volunteers did everything they could, but you get to a point, you’ve got to put the windows in,” Huss said.

Prices of materials are so high, the cost of the two homes being built next to the Halsey’s may be more than $25,000 over what it would normally cost. Huss said that’s because for the Halsey’s home, they were able to order materials closer to the beginning of the pandemic. Now, they may face the supply chain disruption head-on.

“Every day, my construction VP comes in and says here’s another price increase, so these are going to be more expensive,” Huss said.

The Halsey’s are hoping next month may be the month they can finally come home. “It’s all waiting games,” Genesis Halsey said.

“We try to keep our hopes up,” Matthew and Genesis Halsey’s daughter, Kieona said.

Families pay no more than 25% of their income for their mortgage payment, but since costs have increased, Habitat for Humanity has had to up their fundraising efforts.

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