The Mission: Safe, Affordable Housing
“Mission: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity knows that safe, decent and affordable shelter plays an absolutely critical role in helping families to create a new cycle, one filled with possibilities and progress. Affordable home ownership frees families and fosters the skills and confidence they need to invest in themselves and their communities. The outcomes can be long-lasting and life-changing. With a little help, Habitat homeowners are able to achieve the strength and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves and their families. They are empowered to overcome the barriers that so often stand between their families and better, healthier, more financially stable lives.”
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 39 million people – in over 70 countries – improve their living conditions. On December 22, 2022, the Haro family of Brigham City, Utah, joined the international community whose lives have been changed forever as the result of Habitat for Humanity continually fulfilling their mission.
Habitat for Humanity Northern Utah
Danika and Everardo Haro are immigrants who have worked hard to achieve citizenship. Both Danika and Everardo are profoundly deaf, and their oldest son, Inez, has Autism and is non-verbal. Jonas and Jacob are twins, and the entire family have been working hard building their new home. Having a home that is safe and secure is very important to the family, as it will give them the peace of mind that comes with setting down roots for their children, bringing structure and a routine that will help them feel secure and safe, and where the children will have the freedom to run and play. The Haro family is grateful to have this life-changing opportunity of owning a home of their own, where they don’t have to worry and where their children can thrive.
Building a Habitat for Humanity home takes a village. Suppliers, labor, volunteers, donors, and plenty of sweat equity. For the Haro home, it also took a lot of concrete and insulated concrete forms.
It was in March 2021 that Build With Strength, an initiative of the NRMCA, announced it would be partnering with Habitat for Humanity International to fortify decent, affordable and sustainable housing across the United States. Build with Strength began donating concrete for the construction of Habitat homes and has been working directly with local Habitat organizations to support home builds across the country. (Build with Strength is a coalition of architects, builders, engineers, emergency services personnel, policymakers and others committed to solving challenging housing issues. This partnership with Habitat is designed to help further address these issues on a large scale.)
When Utah was selected as the next state to get an ICF home, the Utah Ready-Mixed Concrete Association (URMCA) jumped on board.
“At Habitat for Humanity, our goal is to build homes with safety and resiliency in mind,” said Susie Witt, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Northern Utah. “ICF construction helps provide families with these strong and safe homes and we are grateful to be part of that.”
The members and partners of Utah Ready-Mixed Concrete Association enthusiastically supported this project, with producer members, Altaview Concrete, Geneva Rock Products, and Jack B Parson Ready Mix Company, each providing over $10,000 worth of ready-made concrete to this important project, along with the labor and expertise for their respective pours.
When we visited the site and met with the Habitat for Humanity team in September, Danika Haro asked us to pass along this message to all the members of the URMCA: “When I first heard about concrete homes, it was so interesting. They are so quiet and safe. It is awesome that all these companies and people are building a house for my family. We are so grateful. We thank everyone – we appreciate everyone – who is helping make this home.”
Home for the Holidays
The family – along with the incredible team at Habitat for Humanity Northern Utah – said the dream goal would be for the family to be in their new home by Christmas. There were a few potential stumbling blocks — for example, the doors and windows that were back ordered and a very last minute concrete pour was needed. Persistence, hard work, and some much needed luck prevailed, and the Haro home was dedicated on December 22, 2022.
We cannot think of a better feel-good Christmas story.
Habitat for Humanity believes in giving families a “hand up,” not a “hand out.” The Haro’s and all the other partner families, work alongside professionals, volunteers, and family members to build their own homes. Once their home is completed, partner families pay an affordable, no-interest loan. As the organization states, “Affordable housing is vital to creating a vibrant, healthy, and thriving community. Homeownership creates the foundations that make it possible for families to grow, achieve their goals, and prosper.”
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
NRMCA, a non-profit trade association based in Alexandria, VA, represents the producers of ready mixed concrete and the companies that provide materials, equipment and support to the industry. It conducts education, training, promotion, research, engineering, safety, environmental, technological, lobbying and regulatory programs. For more information on NRMCA’s Sustainability Initiatives, visit www.nrmca.org/sustainability.
About Build With Strength
Build With Strength is an initiative led by NRMCA that seeks to educate the building and design communities and policymakers on the benefits of ready mixed concrete and encourage its use as the building material. No other material can replicate concrete’s advantages in terms of strength, sustainability, durability, safety and ease of use. To learn how to improve building performance, including reducing carbon footprint, visit www.BuildwithStrength.com/design-center.