Housing one family at a time has been the mantra of Habitat for Humanity International in its efforts to construct affordable single-family housing since its inception in 1976. But some affiliates of the Americus, Ga.–based nonprofit have seen the wisdom of broadening that philosophy to include multifamily housing, as well.
About five and a half years ago, Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Orlando (Fla.) Area purchased a 3.9-acre site for a neighborhood of townhouse-style condos when the third phase of an apartment complex stalled. The location of the eventual 58-unit, 10-building Stag Horn Villas, on a bus line and two blocks from a public high school, seemed ideal. Already, 46 of the two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath condos have been finished and are occupied. But the real success of the development lies in its focus on conservation and green-building practices.
“We wanted to be good stewards of the environment and encourage pride of ownership,” says Terry Eckert, the affiliate’s director of construction. Judging by the local response, he and his team have succeeded. “We get a lot of hugs in this business,” he says.