Since its founding in 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami has helped nearly 1,000 families make the transition from renters to homeownersfootnote 1. The dynamic nonprofit focuses on building and renovating homes that low-income families purchase at cost, with a 0% interest loan. The new owners contribute "sweat equity" to the projects, working side-by-side with teams of volunteers under the direction of construction professionals. To help them succeed, Habitat offers educational workshops in areas such as budgeting and home maintenance.
The need for affordable, modern homes is great in Liberty City, a community north of downtown Miami. In 2006, the County asked Habitat to construct 57 homes in Liberty City on the site of a former public housing project. Building on the momentum of the plan —the organization's most ambitious urban project at the time — Habitat received a three-year grant under the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program in 2010 to revitalize the community. However, the federal grant had to be matched with privately raised funds.
JPMorgan Chase joined other corporations to provide $850,000 to support Habitat's "Liberty City Shine" initiative. "JPMorgan Chase's financial contributions and volunteer support are essential to the success of our programs. We rely on private donations and public grants to sustain our operations," says Mario Artecona, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami.
With public and private financing in place, Habitat began constructing new homes on vacant lots donated by Miami-Dade County, and refurbishing other homes on abandoned properties.
From 2010 to 2012, Habitat was able to build and rehab 163 homes in the neighborhood. Since then, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami has continued to build new homes in Liberty City and the surrounding community.footnote 2
“Every home built is the promise of a better future for a family and the seeds of a community—this is an important investment in an important neighborhood.”Guillermo C., market leader for JPMorgan Chase in South Florida and a Habitat volunteer.
The support doesn't end with the grants—In January, a group of PB Broward VLG volunteers worked with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County on a home in Jupiter, Florida, and a team of about 45 volunteers from JPMorgan Chase in Miami contributed their time and talents in February this year as volunteers for a "Blitz Build" project, constructing ten new homes in the South Miami Heights neighborhood. As Artecona says, "Chase's support has helped Habitat for Humanity make Miami shine."
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami, visit: www.MiamiHabitat.org.