Construction Supply Shortages, High Costs Impacting Habitat for Humanity

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Construction materials are in scarce supply right now. Nationwide, contractors and builders are dealing with shortages of lumber, steel, electrical, and lighting supplies. Those shortages are also impacting Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.

Director of Construction Services Les Stohs said the two big impacts are the skyrocketing costs of materials and supply chain issues.

“We’ve had long lead times,” Stohs explains. “There was a period last year where we couldn’t get siding for homes, so we had to kind of pivot and get creative there. We had some issues with the electrical components that go into our homes so breakers and wiring and different things like that. There was a spell where we couldn’t get that. Right now, we’re dealing with long lead times on appliances.”

As director of construction services, Stohs oversees new construction, rehab projects for homeownership, and Rock the Block home repair projects. 

Crews built several projects last week, including a couple of ramps. Stohs said it probably cost twice as much to build them this year compared to last. That’s why he said Habitat for Humanity had to readjust their goals downward by 30-percent last year.

Now, the non-profit has the goal of 35 homeownership opportunities and nearly 300 repairs. Stohs said volunteers, donations, and purchases at Habitat for Humanity ReStores are the reasons why they’re able to continue their mission.

Recipients, including Classie Kinney who has a new ramp at her home, are thankful for the help.

“It’s been a blessing for us,” Kinney said. “Cost factor that I couldn’t actually afford at this time, so yes it was a blessing.”

To learn more about how you can help Habitat for Humanity by donating or volunteering, click here.

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