Martin REALTORS® shatter previous fundraising record for Habitat for Humanity.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

STUART - As the median price of homes in Martin County steadily rises each year, so too does the size and scope of the affordable-housing challenge. 

Fortunately, the same can be said for the dollar amount REALTORS® raise annually in support of the one local nonprofit with an established record of results for overcoming economic hardship through homeownership—Habitat for Humanity of Martin County. 

“We’re honored to support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity and will continue to do so however possible,” says John Gonzalez, president of the Martin County REALTORS® of the Treasure Coast.

In June, more than 120 members of Martin County REALTORS® of the Treasure Coast golfed in its annual tournament benefiting Habitat at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. The $34,000 raised eclipsed last year’s previous all-time-high of $27,000. The year before that brought in $20,000. 

The $7,000 increase in contributions are becoming (ahem) par for the course. 

All told, since adopting Habitat for Humanity as its charity of choice, Martin County REALTORS® of the Treasure Coast has raised $135,000 for the nonprofit. 

“We’re so grateful and so are our families,” says Margot Graff, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Martin County. “Each year they’ve set high fundraising goals for the tournament and attained them. But the value goes far beyond one event. There are so many REALTORS® in this community advocating all the time on our behalf as well as generously giving individually to support our mission. It’s a beautiful partnership that makes a lasting difference in the lives of local families in need.”

Working with Martin County individuals and families seeking to escape substandard housing, the local chapter of Habitat prepares candidates for homeownership through courses on budgeting and home maintenance. In addition to money down and monthly mortgage payments, Habitat requires its homeowners to invest at least 300 hours of labor—sweat equity—into helping build their own home or the home of another Habitat family. 

Describing its guiding philosophy as “a hand-up, not a hand-out,” Graff credits the recipe of preparation, personal involvement and empowerment with Habitat’s sterling success rate. In just over three decades, the local chapter has built 138 homes for Martin County families. Only once did a homeowner fall short of honoring their mortgage obligations. 

The median sales price of single-family homes in Martin County during May was $380,000—$14,000 more than 2018 and $20,000 more than 2017 during the same month. Although great news for residents and investors, the increases also complicate the already challenging affordable-housing issue, says Gonzalez.

“Homeownership, simply put, is the most reliable means available for the broadest number of people to generate wealth, establish stability and improve upon their standard of living,” says Gonzalez. “As REALTORS®, we see this daily. It’s why we travel to Tallahassee each year to fight for funding for affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity stands among the best there is at addressing this need.”

A dedicated voice for property rights, Martin County REALTORS® of the Treasure Coast advocates for local, state and federal policies that advance homeowners’ priorities as well as protect such invaluable natural resources as the St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon and county beaches and shores.

« return