Social & Education Policy

New Report Shows Economic Impacts of Habitat for Humanity Affiliates in Iowa

Habitat for Humanity volunteers help build the wall of a home.

The Housing Policy Program has completed a report for Habitat for Humanity of Iowa describing the economic impacts of affiliates in 2011. Active throughout Iowa, Habitat affiliates gives low-income partner families the opportunity to help build and purchase an affordable, decent, energy-efficient home. The report quantifies impacts to Iowa’s economy that result from money directly spent and wages directly paid by Habitat affiliates.

The findings are conservative and reliable, because they cover only new home construction and rehabilitation of homes that were sold to qualifying families. Many Habitat affiliates in Iowa also provided repairs and weatherization assistance to low-income homeowners, and nine affiliates operated ReStores, which accept donations of new and used building and housing materials for resale at affordable prices.

Lisa Houser, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Iowa, was extremely pleased with the results of the study. "This study gives us quantitative results that we can stand behind and attest to others about the benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity to serve more families through affordable homeownership," she says.

The economic impacts of Habitat affiliates in Iowa ripple through the state to create levels of activity far greater than what the organization directly creates. In 2011, 34 Habitat affiliates employed over 100 employees and paid over $13 million in direct wages, building materials, construction labor, and other operating costs. When the multiplier effects of this spending are taken into account, spending by Iowa Habitat affiliates resulted in a total output of $23,660,222, total earnings of $9,680,597, and 227 jobs in the state’s economy. In addition, the homes built increased potential property tax revenue by $175,147.  

Habitat affiliates transform public and private grants and gifts as well as donated materials and labor into housing and other vital services for low-income families, and in the process make an important contribution to Iowa’s economy. 

You can read the report here.