Habitat for Humanity says it's saving money by fixing up foreclosure in Michigan, rather than building new. The Environment Report's Rebecca Williams visited volunteers working on rehabbing a house in Ypsilanti Township. Megan Rogers with Habitat says rehabbing foreclosures costs about 1/3 less than building new, but it can be a bit more challenging:
"In new builds we had five specs of homes, you could build the wall in a warehouse, and have it delivered. With a renovation you just really never know what you’re getting into, how long that task might take."
Wiring, plumbing, insulation, and lead abatement are on the list of obstacles they have to overcome.
Habitat was started by former President Jimmy Carter. The Carter's are still actively involved in the project reportedly spending a week every year working on a Habitat house. This week, the Carter's along with former vice-president Walter Mondale are in Minneapolis helping to rehab a house there.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a report and a slideshow of the events. The paper quotes Carter as saying,
"Although we've given almost 2 million people [worldwide] homes, there are still a billion people who need them."
Rebecca Williams reports that the Habitat group she covered said "they’ll keep buying and fixing up these homes as long as they can continue to afford them." With foreclosures continuing, it appears they'll continue to be affordable.