COVID impacting cost of building affordable housing in Pierce County

The pandemic has caused huge increases in construction material costs and it is slowing down how quickly families can get into affordable housing.

The Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity has more than a dozen active, or planned homes slated for construction.

"The need for affordable homeownership is tremendous," said Maureen Fife, the CEO of the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.

She said they are facing an unprecedented challenge in building these affordable homes due to COVID-19.

"COVID has brought exponential price hikes," she said.

Fife said they are predicting a $36,000 price increase, per home, just for the cost of building materials. The extra costs will slow down how quickly new homes are constructed, Fife said.

Her hope is that the community can assist so Habitat for Humanity can continue constructing homes for families in need.

"There’s a little bit of a donor in every one of these houses: donations of land, donations of supplies, contributed time of skilled labor," said Fife.

Karla Youngblood said Habitat for Humanity helped give her family peace of mind they had not known for a decade.

"I feel safe. I feel secure, and I feel like I have a forever home now," said Youngblood.

Youngblood just moved into a new home about a year ago. She said without Fife and the rest of the people at the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, she doesn't know if it would have been possible to be where she is today.

Fife said there are so many more families in the area, like Youngblood, who are in need. She said while it will be a challenge to deal with the extra costs this year, it is well worth it.

If you are interested in helping out, you can find more information on how to do so here.

Stay connected with Q13 News on all platforms:

DOWNLOAD: Q13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: Q13 News Live
FOLLOW: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram