This week, Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC launched its Home for Vets campaign on the National Mall. The week started off with the Veterans Build on the Mall, raising awareness and visibility of the effort to bring more affordable and energy efficient housing to the district, and getting veterans into homeownership. Six home frames are being constructed by volunteers on the Mall, representing each of the U.S. military branches. Three of these frames will be moved to permanent sites in DC and fully constructed as affordable homes for local veterans and their families. This week’s event marks the start of a multi-year campaign that will help Washington area veterans obtain affordable housing.
At the kickoff reception in the Capitol Visitors center Tuesday night, Congressional leaders, corporate sponsors, Washington DC City officials, military officers and Habitat leadership remarked on the impact of this initiative to the men and women who serve this country and to the community as a whole. Director Michael Kelly of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development noted that the city has committed over a million dollars toward this effort and they are anxious to move these homes from display on the mall to active use in the DC community. “The work that Habitat of DC is able to do is made possible by the corporate sponsors, non-profit partners, volunteers and families in the network. That continued support and the dedicated staff at Habitat is what makes all of this possible”, said Susanne Slater, DC Habitat President and CEO.
Ken Harris, a U.S. Army Veteran and DC Habitat Homeowner spoke at the kickoff about his personal experience of going from homeless to homeowner. His heartfelt remarks lifted everyone in the room and helped to bring home the critical importance of ensuring our service members and veterans who come back from duty have a safe place to call home. “At the age of 47 my family could come to my home for the first time.” Harris said. He was grateful to Habitat and the many supporters who helped him to build his house and keep hope alive that he would have a place to call home.
DC Habitat is actively recruiting corporate sponsors and volunteers to support the Veterans Build, and is also looking for veterans to become owners of these homes. To learn more about opportunities for veteran homebuyers or to refer a veteran to the program, please contact DC Habitat staff at (202) 882-4600. Also visit and follow DC Habitiat on Facebook here.
Alanna McCargo is a financial services executive and personal finance writer based in Washington, DC. Her writing provides practical, fact-based information for consumers trying to navigate the complex world of housing and personal finance. Visit her blog at www.matterofmoney.com and follow her on Twitter @myhomematters.