The Community Foundation of Broward’s biggest ever investment in affordable housing earned the Workforce Housing Spirit of Humanity Award on Oct. 24 from Habitat for Humanity Broward.
The Community Foundation’s $1 million grant helps construction of Habitat for Humanity’s largest building project ever in Broward – 77 one- and two-story affordable homes in Pompano Beach. This comes more than 30 years after a Foundation grant helped build Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s first home.
“It checked all the boxes for what the Community Foundation is doing at our core,” Foundation Board Chairman Steven W. Hudson said about Habitat’s homebuilding efforts. “We are doing bold things in this community (to) create permanent change for the people in our community.”
The $1 million grant comes from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund at the Foundation. It goes toward construction of infrastructure at the new neighborhood and to pour the foundations of 50 houses.
Mary Porter dedicated herself to philanthropy in Broward, her adopted home. Her gifts helped at-risk teens, families devastated by hurricanes and also supported the jazz music she loved. The $42 million estate that Mary Porter left to keep helping her community was the largest ever gift to the Foundation.
“She came from a small town in Pennsylvania and her and her family (were) all about building community, so this project made sense for Mary Porter,” Foundation President and CEO Linda Carter said about Habitat for Humanity’s new neighborhood. “Armed with an important issue and representing the very values that Mary Porter entrusted us to continue her legacy, we needed to make this $1 million gift from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund.”
The gift is an excellent example of the bold impact that’s brought to life thanks to forward-thinking Fundholders, like Mary, who established endowed charitable Funds at the Foundation.
Construction of more affordable housing is a strategic way to help struggling families attain economic independence – one of the Foundation’s top 10 Issues that Matter.
Wages failing to keep pace with rising home prices makes South Florida one of the most expensive places to live for middle- and low-income workers.
Habitat for Humanity helps address the need for more affordable housing. Thanks to donated land, labor and materials to produce homes – as well as gifts from philanthropists like Mary Porter – Habitat for Humanity can offer zero-interest mortgages that provide an affordable alternative to hardworking families who make between 40 and 80 percent of Broward’s median income.
With help from individuals, local government, corporations and organizations such as the Community Foundation, Habitat for Humanity has built 430 homes in Broward during the past 35 years.
Hudson said Habitat for Humanity’s new Pompano Beach neighborhood personifies the Foundation’s goal of giving people “a hand up, not a handout.”