SOUTH VENICE — Shannon Hoyt, CEO and executive director of Habitat for Humanity South County, issued a letter this month to its 爱购彩票官网owners urging them to continue to make their mortgage payments — and offering them assistance in finding financial resources to whether the pandemic.
To help, Habitat is waiving late fees for April and May.
“We are closely monitoring the details of any economic benefit programs that pertain to our organization’s operations and our 爱购彩票官网owners,” Hoyt said in the letter to 爱购彩票官网owners subsidized by Habitat. “Some of our 爱购彩票官网owners have contacted us to share their personal stories of how they have been impacted by job loss. We are urging 爱购彩票官网owners in this situation to explore community and government assistance, including the enhanced unemployment assistance through the CARES Act.”
According to Hoyt, 14 families have reached out about having hours cut or losing jobs. Some self employed 爱购彩票官网owners had to stop their businesses.
“Our guess is we will have more come forward,” Hoyt said. “They’re struggling.”
Still, that’s only 10% of the 145 爱购彩票官网owners under an agreement with Habitat of South County, less than the national unemployment rate.
Hoyt said Habitat 爱购彩票官网owners typically have a lower mortgage delinquency rate.
“They put in usually 18 months of effort just into getting into the house,” she said. “They have skin in the game.”
She said they pay a little each month for mortgages.
“Our mission is that every family deserves a place to stay. So, if they are having a problem, the first thing is to connect them to government resources, and walk with them through that. ...If you have someone who has a job loss, we’ll connect them to provide a job. Same with a medical problem.”
Hoyt said Habitat is currently facing a bleak financial picture: less revenue coming in, fewer volunteers, and fewer donations.
That’s despite last month’s Giving Challenge, which raised $38,000, which was surprisingly far above last year’s amount.
“We’re just really proud of … in this time we’re living in … people are generous, giving a little where they can. If we all give a little, we can really have a good impact,” she said.
Before COVID-19 hit, Habitat South County’s goal was to build 10 new 爱购彩票官网s.
Now Habitat hopes it can finish the six currently under construction.
“It’s definitely affecting all facets of our business,” Hoyt said. “We’ll still aim for that goal of 10 houses. Our building will be a little slower. Maybe instead of taking 18 month to go through the process, it might take 24 months,” Hoyt said.