WATCH YOUR MAILBOX & YOUR INBOX for our upcoming fall/winter newsletter publication which should arrive just prior to Thanksgiving.
A link to the newsletter as well as additional content can be found below.
NOW MORE THAN EVER, HABITAT’S WORK–OUR WORK AS A COMMUNITY–IS ESSENTIAL. HOME IS THE KEY. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US CREATE & CELEBRATE MILESTONES!
Click here to enjoy a copy of our 2021 Winter newsletter and annual appeal.Donations may be sent to the PO Box shown below (at the bottom of each page of our website), through our Facebook site, or through our secure PayPal “donate” button (top right).
For stock donation instructions, please click here.
To learn more about our Legacy Builders Society and Planned Giving options, please check out several new pages of our website under the “Donate” drop-down. Planned giving is for anyone [no minimum amount], at any age and can be easy to set-up.
2021 Contributions Note: The extension of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) again includes incentives to support the essential services that 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations provide. If you do not itemize on your taxes, you can include $300 per taxpayer in cash charitable contributions as an above-the-line deduction. If you itemize, you may deduct certain cash donations up to 100% of AGI. [*Disclaimer: Please consult an attorney or tax professional for advice.]
TO READ ADDITIONAL CONTENT RELATED TO OUR NEWSLETTER STORIES, PLEASE CLICK ON THE EXPANSION ARROWS NEXT TO EACH HEADING.
Habitat affiliates nationwide and here in Maine have found low or below-market interest rate loans to be an excellent way to leverage their mortgage portfolio to build capacity. [7 other lending institutions throughout the state have engaged in this type of lending with other Habitat affiliates over the years!] Such third-party financed loans convert future mortgage cash flow into a lump sum [the net present day value in cash] at closing, allowing an affiliate to recover a high % of home costs sooner than a typical mortgage term. [Habitat’s traditional 0%-interest mortgages lose value over the lifetime of the loan due to inflation; leveraging recovers some of that otherwise lost value.]
The outcomes: Affiliates are able to serve more partners—better stewarding the investment of volunteers and donors, sustain growth, and improve cash flow in a competitive non-profit economy. Funds received through such loans may also present growth opportunities—for purchasing land, building infrastructure, undertaking a large-scale project, and/or acquiring foreclosures for rehabilitation. [Note: Fundraising support is still needed from the general public as the lending doesn’t result in 1-to-1 coverage of all costs.]
The details: We expect to employ this new third-party financing underwriting model with our Franklin build (house #19), our Ellsworth recycle project and future builds. Essentially the approved Habitat Partners/Borrower(s) would be pre-qualified/screened for a Habitat zero-interest loan at time of application. Then those maximum monthly Principal-only payments (+ taxes & insurance) would be translated into a more conventional, low-or below-market interest mortgage loan at a bank–with the Borrower(s) paying no more per month or over the lifetime of the loan than they would with Habitat. The advantage to Habitat is that, instead of getting a modest $300-400+/- per month in Principal over 30-years, we’d receive a lump sum at closing. This would be the affordable portion of the fair market value (FMV) of the home, discounted by the bank mortgage interest amount, but substantial enough to provide a more sustainable way to seed and partially fund the next Habitat project. This is an appealing type of loan to the bank because we have already fully vetted the Habitat Partner(s) and the lower loan-to-value ratio represents much less risk as a bank investment than if someone was buying a similar house on the open-market.
Third-party financing will help to prevent the past building hiatuses which came from having to fundraise completely from scratch for one of the more expensive [but life-changing! ?] non-profit products around. Those pauses in between always resulted in needing to rebuild our volunteer base (and sometimes donor pool) due to the lapse(s) in available engagement opportunities.
Note: A “silent” second forgivable mortgage would still be held by Habitat to protect the value of whatever portion of the FMV of the home wasn’t deemed affordable to the Borrower; and, Habitat’s Shared Appreciation and [Re]Purchase Option clauses would remain under this type of third-party lending model — to help preserve the potential of keeping the home as an affordable housing unit in case of Borrower sale for life change, etc.
ADVOCACY EFFORTS–National & Worldwide Participation by Habitat Affiliates and Representatives of HFHI
FEDERAL BUDGET UPDATE [Excerpted from HFHI update to affiliates.]: The federal government’s fiscal year 2021 ended on Sept. 30. Congress passed a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown because it has not passed any of the 12 FY2022 appropriations bills. The continuing resolution funds the government at the 2021 fiscal year level until Dec. 3. On Oct. 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee released nine FY2022 appropriations bills, including the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill. The bill would provide $65.4 billion for HUD programs and activities, $5.7 billion above the FY2021 enacted level. Overall, the bill was very good news for the Habitat network, with all our priority programs receiving level or increased funding.
Habitat’s key priorities were funded at:
- $1.45 billion for HOME — $100 million over FY2021, but $400 million below the House bill.
- $15 million for Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) — $5 million increase from FY2021 and equal to House bill.
- Language was included encouraging HUD to increase the per unit investment cap, currently set at $15,000, for the FY2022 notice of funding availability.
- $41 million for Section 4 Capacity Building — level funding from FY2021 but $4 million below the House bill.
- $3.55 billion for the Community Development Block Grant —$80 million increase from FY2021 but $150 million below the House bill.
While the release of the Senate appropriations bills helps move the process along, in order to finalize a deal before the Dec. 3 deadline, the Senate must find bipartisan agreement.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to their congressional members throughout the year about Habitat’s appropriations priorities! Our programs are in a very strong position as budget negotiations continue.
BUILD BACK BETTER UPDATE (10/28):Yesterday, Democrats released legislative text for the Build Back Better Act totaling $1.75 trillion. Affordable housing policies received $150 billion and many of Habitat’s federal legislative priorities were included. …
Several of Habitat’s housing priorities made it into the Act, such as: The Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund, the Home Investment Fund, additional funding for HOME, USDA Section 502, and USDA Section 504, and the Downpayment Toward Equity Act.
Over the past month, Habitat has been engaged in a number of direct and grassroots lobbying activities to influence the housing priorities included in the Build Back Better Act. … While these advocacy actions were critical, we cannot let up now. We need to make sure that our legislative priorities remain in the Build Back Better Act and we will be sharing additional advocacy opportunities with you soon.
2021 GOLF TOURNAMENT DONOR ADDITIONAL “Thank Yous” – Northeast Harbor Golf Course, and our Hospitality & Hole-Sponsors:
Atlantic Landscape Construction, Inc.
Bar Harbor Savings & Loan
Chris Parsons Building & Remodeling
Cleary Law Office, P.A.
Coastal Computers, LLC
Coston & McIsaac, CPA’s
The Davis Agency
Gray & Gray Enterprises, Inc.
J.T. Rosborough, Inc.
Lauren Corey Consulting
Maine Storage Plus, LLC
MDI Tree Service & Landscaping
Skip’s Automotive Services
Wallace Tent & Party Rentals
We are pleased to report that we have selected the applicant Partner for the Ellsworth “recycle” property but are holding off on a media release until the project is closer to move-in day to prevent housing insecurity issues surrounding their month-to-month rental. If you’ve learned about the selection from the Partner themselves or a friend of a friend, thank you for respecting their privacy on social media, etc. when the tendency would normally be to celebrate publicly.
Built in 2010, the home is being refreshed for/with its next occupant(s) through our traditional model of volunteer support and the qualified Partner(s)’ sweat equity. The original floorplan is being modified to provide for future aging in place and/or ADA accessibility needs.
To our volunteers & supporters: This “refresh” project will not take away from work on our next new home build — with plans for starting the ground-work on that project this fall. This next new home will be completed in partnership with Sonia on the Blue Hill Peninsula! For some wonderful family images, Sonia’s story, and a preview of what the home will look like, please see our newsletter.
To keep our Habitat Partners, volunteers, and staff safe from the risks associated with COVID-19 transmission, our office remains closed to public drop-ins. Administrative staff is working largely remotely and can be reached through email at Director.HCHH@gmail.com [please, do not send confidential information] and/or through our office #, which will be checked periodically: (207) 702-9457.
We remain committed to assisting our Habitat Partners who may be struggling financially during the pandemic and are available to discuss options. Thank you for your patience in awaiting a response as we strive to keep up with higher than normal call volume, etc. during this time.
We have limited volunteer opportunities at our jobsite(s) for fully vaccinated volunteers [masking required indoors & out, regardless of vaccination status to protect our Habitat Partners, staff, volunteers, and the wider community]. We will post updates on our Facebook page and website to help keep you informed. For our regular, annual + COVID-specific Liability Waiver & Procedures, please click here.[Print copies will be available at site, but the information should be read/reviewed in advance. A separate waiver must be completed by the parent(s)/guardian(s) of minors wishing to volunteer on site.]
As always, thank you for your support …and do take care!