New Homes Bring Economic Independence

July 3, 2019
The first seven families are moving into newly completed homes at Habitat for Humanity of Broward's new neighborhood in Pompano Beach, built with help from a $1 million grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward.

Follow the moving trucks. Look for balloons tied to brand-new doorknobs. Listen for the sounds of laughing children.

That’s where you can find Mary Porter’s legacy of philanthropy – alive and well – welcoming hardworking families into new, affordably priced homes.

A $1 million grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward has jump-started construction of 77 homes at Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s largest ever new neighborhood.

Mary’s Fund, created with her estate gift, is paying for water and sewer lines, electrical lines, roads and other infrastructure at the new Pompano Beach neighborhood on Northwest 15th Street, called A Rick Case Habitat Community. Her grant is also helping pour the foundations for 50 homes there.

At the June 27 dedication of the first seven completed homes, evidence of Mary’s enduring influence was on display – from her name on signs welcoming each homeowner, to a street named in her honor. Plans call for a statue of Mary to be part of a new park and playground.

“Mary died 10 years ago, but today she is building this community,” Community Foundation President and CEO Linda Carter said at the dedication ceremony. “Philanthropy allows you to put a mark on society. Mary continues to shape the future of Broward.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined dozens of local leaders at the dedication ceremony, thanking Habitat for Humanity and the neighborhood’s sponsors for new homes that will make a “huge, huge impact” in the push to provide more affordable housing.

Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomes new homeowners.

“This is a great project,” DeSantis said. “You are talking about … hardworking families, giving them the opportunity to have a nice home.”

Support for affordable housing is one of the ways Foundation Fundholders tackle Economic Independence – one of our 10 Issues That Matter most to Broward’s future. Support for Economic Independence empowers families to move from struggling to thriving.

More than half of Broward’s workforce lives paycheck-to-paycheck and local wages fail to keep pace with rising housing costs. As a result, families get stuck paying too much for substandard homes. Unable to save money, they are at risk of a car repair, medical bill or some other unexpected expense pushing them into economic despair.

Habitat for Humanity’s new neighborhood provides a hand up for families struggling with housing costs. Thanks to support from philanthropists such as Mary Porter, as well as donated land, materials and labor, Habitat for Humanity can offer zero-interest mortgages to families making between 30 and 80 percent of Broward’s median income.

Erneika Mejia said she and her four children will have a safer place to live and a brighter economic future thanks to their new Habitat home. They are among the first families moving into the new neighborhood that Mary Porter is helping create.

“These homes are built with so much love and passion,” Mejia said. “We have gained a community.”

Mary Porter's estate gift is helping build a new neighborhood of affordably priced homes.
Contact Information

To learn how you can establish a charitable Fund for Broward to support Economic Independence, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

Economic Independence

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