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December 10, 2014

Habitat for Humanity Shifting Focus to Fixer-Uppers

Habitat for Humanity, the international nonprofit known for using volunteer labor to provide homes for low-income families, is building fewer dwellings and putting more emphasis on buying and renovating existing houses, writes The Wall Street Journal. From 2008 to this year, the charity has more than doubled the number of U.S. homes it renovated, while its new construction fell by 31 percent.

Land prices, which have risen at a double-digit clip since 2012, are the primary reason for the shift. "If we can't get it donated, we have to buy land [to build new homes]. And that becomes a big part of the cost," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of the Georgia-based charity. In the wake of the housing crisis, Habitat is increasingly turning to fixing up foreclosed or abandoned homes for its clients.