On June 14, 2022, members of Habitat for Humanity, Montgomery County spoke to the members of the Magnolia Rotary Club about their organization. Pictured above from left to right are: Marcelle Baker (Marketing & Development Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity), Kelly McDonald (Magnolia Rotary Club President), Charles Merdian (CFO of LGI Homes and Board Member of Habitat for Humanity) and Vicki Johnson (Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity).
After Kelly McDonald introduced Charles Merdian who joined Habitat for Humanity 5 years ago, Charles told everyone that he joined the board of Habitat for Humanity in February of 2020.
Charles than told everyone that "Virtually nowhere in the U.S. can a full-time minimum wage employee afford a one-bedroom apartment. Even two such jobs won't rent a two-bedroom apartment in 29 states. Charles then told everyone that the mission of Habitat for Humanity is: Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Their vision is: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Charles then showed a two minute promotional film for Habitat for Humanity that basically drives home the point that Habitat for Humanity provides a hands up and not a hand out to people needing affordable housing.
Charles than provided a brief history of Habitat for Humanity, Montgomery County:
  • Established in 1989.
  • Build and repaired more than 271 homes to date.
  • In 2021, Habitat homeowners paid more than $200,000 in local property taxes.
  • 100% Self Funded
  • Cedar Creek is their first 100% Habitat occupied subdivision.
    • 37-acres partially donated
    • 129 affordable homes by 2025
    • Will serve as a model going forward
  • To date, volunteers donated more than 11,000 hours of service
  • Habitat Model: volunteers, home sponsors, Restore, and family partners
A aerial photo of Ceder Creek Subdivision can be seen belwo:
Charles then spoke about some of the programs that Habitat for Humanity has:
  • New Home Construction: Habitat's home ownership program is a partnership with families to build a safer and affordable place that they can call home. When applicants are accepted into the program, they agree to a partnership:
    • To complete 175 hours of home owners instruction.
    • To complete 350 hours of "sweat equity" by working on their own home.
    • To work on houses of other Habitat partner families.
    • Pay back 30-year no interest mortgage.
  • Home Repairs: Habitat's home repair program offers individuals and families relief from:
    • Leaky roofs, broken windows, plumbing problems, and other critically needed repairs.
    • Repairs can also include weatherization of their home to reduce home energy cost and increase home energy efficiency.
  • ReStore: Their home improvement resale shop that accepts donations of new and gently used items and sell the items to the public at a discount.
    • They offer FREE pick up and deconstruction services.
    • ReStore prevents usable items from ending up in landfills.
    • All proceeds are used to support the mission and vision of the organization.
Charles then spoke to the multi-generational impact that Habitat for Humanity has on recipients of these homes:
  • The stability of home ownership provides positive benefits to parents and their children, including:
    • Improved family and community health.
    • Children thrive in schools and improved educational opportunities.
    • Financial stability and asset growth potential.
    • Transformational change in breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • Better, affordable living conditions lead to improved health, stronger childhood development and the ability and financial flexibility to make forward looking choices.
Charles than spoke about ReStore:
  • Greater than 6,500 donations received annually
  • $121 is the average donation
  • 1,036,100 pounds of items diverted from local landfills
Charles then spoke to the overall economic impact of the new Cedar Creek Subdivision:
  • $5 Million for land engineering and infrastructure
  • $11 Million for home construction costs
  • $1.9 Million for construction contractors
  • $16 Million fair market value of homes
  • $125,000 average property taxes per home
  • $220,000 of property taxes paid in 2021
  • $332,500 in home repairs, modifications, and revitalization efforts (since inception)
John then spoke a little about the new 80 acre tract of land generously donated to Habitat for Humanity, Montgomery County by the Chimenti Family. A map of the new neighborhood can be seen below:
Charles also showed a proposed layout for the new neighborhood (see below):
Lastly, Charles spoke about ways any individual can help Habitat for Humanity:
  • Spread the Word: Share the news of our upcoming Magnolia expansion to local businesses, churches, friends and families.
  • Volunteer: They need volunteers in areas such as home repair, new home construction, ReStore and administrative opportunities.
  • Donate: Our financial donations help them to not only build homes but change the lives of families.
  • Sponsor: Sponsorships are critical to Habitat for Humanity as they help to:
    • Restore hope
    • Help break the cycle of poverty
    • Ensure more children grow up in a stable healthy home where they can truly thrive
    • Let sponsors feel the satisfaction of knowing their contribution impact will last for generations