Habitat wins Judges’ Green Harvest Award from Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Thursday, April 15, 2010

STUART, Fla., April 15, 2010 – Habitat for Humanity of Martin County was awarded the Judges’ Green Harvest Award ($500 grant award) from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties during the Nonprofits Going Green Awards Luncheon on April 14. This award honors organizations that the judges feel deserve recognition for their dedication, commitment and/or particular innovations with going green.

Habitat for Humanity of Martin County was awarded for designing and building green homes in the city of Stuart and for successfully launching the ReStore retail recycling operation.

The Habitat for Humanity of Martin County ReStore’s “Recycle, Reuse” program focuses on reusing home materials and goods with a commitment to green concepts. This also provides the ReStore with income-generating projects.


The ReStore is one of the nationwide Habitat for Humanity affiliates that offer deconstruction services, salvaging building products that have history, value and lots of life left in them. Habitat for Humanity ReStores have three main purposes: to provide additional funding to support the affiliate’s house-building goals; to expand the affiliate’s opportunities to serve a broader base in the community by providing low-cost housing products; and to divert construction and household materials from landfills to protect the environment.


The Habitat for Humanity of Martin County ReStore focuses on selling donated items related to housing and construction, which include appliances, cabinets, lighting, doors, windows, tools, faucets, furnishings, antiques and much more. To date, the ReStore has kept more than 824,000 pounds of reusable material out of local landfills by selling it to fund affordable housing projects.


The ReStore staff is grateful to their many donors and volunteers who help make their mission possible. “We are neighbors helping neighbors,” said Margot Graff, Habitat for Humanity of Martin County executive director. “Habitat’s spectrum of housing solutions — deconstruction and salvage, new construction and home rehabilitations — intimately tied to the mission of creating decent houses in decent communities. In the process of pursuing that goal, Habitat for Humanity of Martin County is demonstrating that improving a community’s ability to reuse goods is as fundamental as providing affordable housing.”


The ReStore is auctioning rare finds and architectural salvage items from the residence of the late singer/actress France Langford, April 16-May 5. All proceeds benefit Habitat’s mission to eliminate substandard housing in Martin County. Visit HabitatMartin.org or call (772) 223-8991 for more details.


Green Homes

The February groundbreaking of Habitat for Humanity of Martin County’s three green homes in East Stuart marked several milestones: The first green homes in Martin County and the city of Stuart; the first green build for the local Habitat affiliate; and the first home Leonardo Rodriguez’s family will own.


“We’re really excited about this project. These will be our first green homes, made possible by a grant from the City of Stuart,” said City Manager Dan Hudson. “What we’re looking to do here in the East Stuart community is promote homeownership. Thanks to our partnership with Habitat, it’s becoming a reality for qualified applicants.”


The groundbreaking was a momentous occasion for Rodriguez, a resident of Stuart currently renting an apartment with his son. “It’s a miracle; a dream come true,” Rodriguez said. “I’m the first member of my family to build and own a home in the United States.”

The construction of Habitat’s green homes conforms to environmentally sensitive standards, meeting gold rating requirements by the Florida Green Building Coalition.


“This Habitat project in Martin County proves you can build green-certified homes with little to no additional costs,” said Habitat’s green consultant, Kyle Abney of Abney + Abney Green Solutions, Inc. “Green features such as proper orientation, using light interior colors to reflect natural light, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and adhesives, extended overhangs for shade, not installing a garbage disposal, using low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets, and xeriscaping are all being done in this home and can be done in any home.”


This project is made possible thanks to the City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, which provided a $100,000 “green initiatives” grant to help finance the green homes. Habitat for Humanity of Martin County is pleased to partner with Abney + Abney Green Solutions, Inc., Braden & Braden architects and the Houston Cuozzo Group land planners which will provide consultations on the construction of these homes.


About Habitat for Humanity of Martin County

Habitat for Humanity of Martin County is a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that extends the opportunity to purchase simple, decent, affordable homes to local families who would not otherwise have that chance. The three key criteria necessary in order to make homeownership a reality for families include the need for shelter, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. For more information, call (772) 223-9940 or visit HabitatMartin.org.

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