What do you plan to build this year? For a group of over 200 women, the answer is: “We’ll be building a home.” Fauquier Habitat for Humanity is bringing together hundreds of local women from all walks of life to address the home affordability crisis affecting nearly 30% of households in Virginia.
“We are launching our 2022 Women Build program with a Community Kick-off event on March 24 at 6:30 pm at Gloria’s in Warrenton,” says Elizabeth Neher, Fauquier Habitat’s Women Build Committee Chair. “Any woman who wants to learn how to build a house and is committed to building community is invited to join us to learn more about the collective impact we can have on the shortage of affordable homes in our community.”
1 in 4 households in Virginia spends 30% or more of their income on housing. “That means 1 in 4 households are forced to make impossible choices between housing and other basic needs like healthcare, nutritious food, and reliable transportation,” explains Darryl Neher, Chief Executive Officer of Fauquier Habitat for Humanity. “And women, especially those who serve as heads of their families and women of color, disproportionately face obstacles that make accessing safe and affordable homes nearly impossible.” Women, on average, earn only 80% of the income the average male earns, and women continue to receive a disproportionate amount of high-cost loans when home buying. “These obstacles alone make it difficult for women with low- to moderate incomes to access safe, affordable homes that would give their families the opportunity to thrive,” says Darryl Neher.
That’s where Fauquier Habitat Women Build comes in. Women Builders will fundraise for the construction of a safe and affordable home for one of Fauquier Habitat’s future homeowners – a single woman head of household – and then will come together this October to build the home.
Women Builders will not only gain some construction skills on the build site but also have the opportunity to build alongside future Habitat homeowners, as they complete their own sweat equity hours. “It’s empowering to work on a women-led construction site, but even better is the relationships that are formed on that site,” says Elizabeth Neher. “Building alongside future Habitat homeowners is the most magical part of the Women Build experience.”
At the Community Kick-off, individuals will be invited to join teams of 15 women, and each individual will commit to raising $250 to help support home construction costs. “Many women bring their family, friends, or coworkers to the event to form a team together, but we also have plenty of individuals who attend and end up joining an existing team,” says Emily Stone, a Women Build Committee Member. “All women are welcome!”
Fauquier Habitat Women Build Community Kick-off will be held Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Gloria’s, 92 Main Street, Suite 104, Warrenton, VA.
More information about Fauquier Habitat for Humanity Women Build can be found on their website or by calling Fauquier Habitat’s office at 540-341-4952, ext. 103.