Views from the Porch
August 2023 News
There are so many benefits of volunteering
One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. However, there are many others that people might not immediately think of as is evident in the answers of several of our volunteers:
- Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and contacts. "What I enjoy most is the camaraderie," Thomas tells us.
- Volunteering is good for mind and body. It can boost your self-confidence to learn something new. "I volunteer to keep busy, but I have also learned a lot of new construction skills that I can use at home too," says Terry
- Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose. Bill explains that he volunteers to help people. "Seeing children running through a sprinkler at their new home that I helped build is what its all about!"
- Volunteering can advance your career by providing an opportunity to practice important skills such as team work, communication and problem solving. It also looks great on a resume. Emma, who volunteers at the ReStore says, "Being a part of the ReStore has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as a Public Relations student."
- Volunteering is fun! Ariel tried volunteering with us last summer and is back again this summer because she enjoys it so much. "I love the work and the people and being able to tell my friends I installed a countertop today."
If you're interested in volunteering with Essex County Habitat, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Rose Trefry at 978-681-8858 x 103, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.essexcountyhabitat.org/volunteer/ to learn more and fill out an inquiry form.
The invisible laws that led to America's housing crisis
Single-family homes in Arlington, Massachusetts. Around 75% of residential land in the United States is zoned for single-family homes only. (image credit: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)
In the 1910s, US cities began enacting policies that would shape neighborhoods and, unintentionally, lay the roots for the severe housing shortage today: single-family zoning laws.
Zoning laws, at their most basic, follow a simple concept. In one part of town, only factories can be built. In another section of town, only apartment buildings can be built. And in a different part of town, only single-family houses can be built.
Single-family zoning laws are unknown to most Americans, but they were instrumental to the expansion of urban areas and the suburban ideal of owning a home with a front porch and backyard on a half-acre plot of land post-World War II... Zoning laws protected millions of Americans’ home values, stopped development of projects that could turn small villages into larger towns and larger towns into cities, and delegated control to local homeowners and government over how land in their neighborhoods was used.
However, strict single-family zoning regulations limited housing supply, artificially raised prices, squandered the dream of homeownership for future generations, and blocked families from moving into neighborhoods with better schools and job opportunities, researchers and advocates say.
More than a century after the first single-family zoning laws were passed, roughly 75% of land that is zoned for housing in American cities is for private, single-family homes, only.
“Zoning is key to understanding why housing is so expensive and why we’re not providing housing to folks who need it,” ...Yonah Freemark, the research director of the Urban Institute’s Land Use Lab said.
Thank you for your support
Many thanks to everyone who supported us on a build site or at the ReStore this past month! Below are just a few of those who did.
Our regulars taking a quick break
We'd also like to recognize the following business that offered its support:
Stoneham Bank donated $1000 to support building affordable homes.
Mark your calendar for the 2023 Building Dreams Gala, our premiere fundraising event, being held on Thursday, September 28!
Enjoy a beautiful fall evening under the tent at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers. Wander the beautiful grounds, savor the delicious cuisine, learn first hand how life changing a Habitat home can be, and raise your paddle to support Essex County Habitat for Humanity.
A safe and stable home plays a crucial role in a child's overall well-being.
By donating your old car, you're supporting affordable housing programs in your community and helping create a secure environment where children can thrive.
To learn more, visit www.essexcountyhabitat.org/donate-a-vehicle/ or call 877-277-4344 to start your donation process today.
New Student Discount at the ReStore
The ReStore is now offering college students a discount off our already low prices! Moving into a dorm or off-campus housing and need extra storage, seating, housewares, etc? Just show your current ID at checkout for 5% to 20% off any purchase over $20.
(Amount of discount based on total purchase amount before tax, not valid on sale items.)
A huge note of appreciation goes out to all of our volunteers who helped make the Carnival of Savings event a huge success! Thanks to Lauren and her daughter, Julius and his son and Linda who hung flyers to get the word out about the event. Thanks to Wendy, Pedro and their daughters, Maribel and her friend, Lauren, Deanna, Pavin and Katie, as well as all of our amazing regular volunteers who helped sell, load, service, give out freeze pops and serve popcorn! And of course all of our customers who help us build homes!
647 Andover Street, Lawrence | 978-686-3323 | open Tues - Sat, 10am - 5pm | ecrestore.org
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