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Habitat For Humanity Works To Help Solve Central Florida’s Affordable Housing Puzzle


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Catherine Steck McManus. Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando & Osceola County


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando and Osceola County builds up to 30 homes a year for people who make less than the area’s median income. Thousands of people apply, and around 2 to 3 percent are approved for the Habitat program. 

Habitat president and CEO Catherine Steck McManus says building affordable homes is just one part of an increasingly complex puzzle of keeping people housed in Central Florida. 

She says homelessness is tied to affordability.

“You would need to work, if you’re making minimum wage, 115 hours per week to even afford an average 2 bedroom apartment,” she says.

“So again, what has happened, is housing is just out of reach for the majority of our community.”

A three bedroom, two bathroom Habitat home appraises around $184,000, compared to the average price of a home in Central Florida which is $327,000.

“We have housing prices that mirror Atlanta, but we have salaries that mirror Biloxi, Mississippi. That’s a problem, and we have got to have them come closer together,” says McManus.

“There is not an easy solution: it is going to take time. But if we work collaboratively, our community is resilient and we have been through many, many large issues, and this one is one that I feel confident we are going to be able to tackle in the long run.”


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About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »

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