Habitat For Humanity ready to go, except...

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Habitat For Humanity’s mission is to build and renovate homes that everyone can afford.

But the Covid 19 pandemic and other factors put builds in much of the north country on hold more than three years ago.

Now, Thousand Islands Habitat For Humanity has plans to build again with local volunteers, working along side skilled contractors.

The problem?

Not enough of those contractors to go around.

“It’s very difficult to get folks to commit that time commitment of being available for an entire build process,” said Barbara Perez, the Executive Director of Thousand Islands Habitat For Humanity.

Phil Reed is Executive Director of the Northern New York Builders Exchange, an association of more than 200 construction -related companies.

Reed says the need for more contractors locally is high.

“One of the things that has been in the forefront is the lack of qualified trades people and the competition for those people, and also it’s a population that is somewhat aging,” Reed said.

Reed says local trade unions are doing their best to attract younger apprentices to fill in those gaps

Perez says one solution Habitat is leaning towards is bringing in multiple contractors in smaller intervals, so they don’t have to make a full build commitment if they don’t have the time to do so.

“To ensure that a, we have that skilled labor that is happening and b, we’re covered all the way through the build so we don’t have to stop a build because of weather,” Perez said.

Perez says as planning continues on getting out and building again, they are already scouting new locations. including Casey Street in Watertown and another in Lewis County near Lyons Falls.

Perez says any interested contractors can reach out to her for more information.

Perez says any interested contractors can reach out to her directly for more information.