The President & CEO's Blog

From John Paukstis, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

Habitat on the Hill

I recently joined hundreds of Habitat representatives throughout the United States in Washington, DC to advocate for resources for affordable home production.  Our three day conference included visits to offices of Senators Chris Van Hollen and Benjamin Cardin, as well as, Representatives Jamie Raskin, Anthony Brown, and David Throne.


Communities in our region are facing shortages of safe, decent and affordable homes.  More than 19 million US households spend more than 50% of their income on housing, 30% is considered affordable.  Federal housing programs provide crucial resources to help local housing providers meet these challenges.  For example, the HOME program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps providers build, repair or rehabilitate affordable owner-occupied or rental housing, while also supporting other housing activities.  HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), helps nonprofit organizations that use the self-help model acquire land, purchase foreclosed or abandoned properties, and develop the infrastructure needed to build affordable homes for first-time, lower-income homeowners.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Section 502 Direct program provides fixed-rate, low-interest loans to help low- and very-low income families purchase or rehabilitate homes in rural areas.

See our Federal  Asks Here


While crucial, federal investments in affordable housing are failing to keep up with local needs.  To supplement static or declining federal housing resources, local and state organizations are engaging in broad advocacy initiatives to persuade local and state governments to raise significant new housing resources of their own.  These local and state funds are being used for a wide range of housing activities, tailored to local priorities. Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.

See our Local Advocacy Platform Here

Habitat Honors Veterans

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Richard at his home of 28 years.  Richard served in the US Army for 30 years.  Richard was trained as a combat medic and achieved the highest rank of Sargent First Class, or senior non-commissioned officer.  He also received the Meritorious Service Medal presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves for outstanding achievement or service to the United States.  Richard enjoyed interacting with military families and “liked to help them ease into military life.”

In addition to his long military career, Richard was educated in Psychology, studied at Howard University, was trained as a Hypnotherapist and is currently certified to administer Reflexology.  There is a spiritual quality to Richard’s desire to help people deal with the stresses of everyday life.

Originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Richard is a huge Philadelphia Eagles football fan and was “thrilled beyond belief” when they won the Super Bowl last year.

Richard’s home is comfortable and welcoming, but there were several repairs that needed to be done and Habitat responded by matching a priority list of critical repairs with available funding.

Funding from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) covered weatherization services including CO Monitors, Insulation, and a programmable thermostat.  Habitat was able to secure help from the Home Depot Foundation RepairCorps program for veterans that provided funding to replace the roof, a rear door,  the tile floor in the kitchen, a bathroom window, and to make repairs to walls.

Habitat was honored to be able to make a difference in the life of someone who served his country with distinction.

Thank you for your service Richard!

For more information about Habitat’s Repair & Weatherization Program, contact Rebecca Arce, Repair Client Coordinator at or 301-990-0014×19.

14th Annual Golf Tournament

Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, we are looking forward to warmer weather, being outdoors, and our 14th annual golf tournament on Friday, May 31st at Whiskey Creek CC.  Click here for sponsorship flyer.

Our golf event is great fun and provides significant funding for our mission to build affordable housing for working families. Over the last 13 years, the golf tournament has raised over $1.3 million for our work!

We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this tournament over the years and recognize the support from our sponsors, volunteers and friends whose generosity makes possible our efforts to create affordable and energy efficient housing in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a sermon given shortly before he died, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – whose 90th birthday would have been on January 15 – talked about living until age 90.  “You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause.  You refuse to do it because you are afraid….Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90.”

We are grateful to students from Catholic University of America, and Penn State University, who are volunteering in our Habitat for Humanity ReStore as part of their MLK Day of Service in honor of Dr. King.

For more information, or to schedule a volunteer group in a Habitat ReStore, please contact Monet Friedman, Volunteer Services Coordinator  –  301-990-0014 Ext. 18

2018: Year in Review

We are excited to announce that 2018 was a record year for HFHMM. Last year we finished 78 projects and served more than 100 residents!

  • 4 Rehabilitations of vacant, distressed, properties
  • 26 Critical Home Repairs, including 20 HVAC replacements
  • 28 Weatherizations

In 2018, HFHMM invested more than $1.4M in our community and provided more than $1M in 0% interest mortgages to income qualified families.

We were also able to launch an Aging in Place program that connects seniors with Habitat, an Occupational Therapist, and a Registered Nurse to help them successfully stay in their homes.  Moreover, we were selected as an administrator of the Montgomery County Homeowner Energy Efficiency Program designed to help low-income homeowners reduce their energy bills.

The incredible Women Build supporters continued to exceed our expectations and sent 32 teams of 10 women to help finish two of our rehab homes and collectively they raised $176,000 towards our mission.

We are grateful to the nearly 4,500 volunteers who contribute to the success of our mission, and to our board of directors for providing great governance and support. In 2018, these volunteers donated more than 32,000 hours of serving, helping save the organization more than $770,000 in labor costs.

As we enter into our 37th year in business, we are very excited about the opportunity to serve more residents with affordable workforce housing, as well as, repairs and weatherization of owner-occupied homes mostly for older adults and veterans.  Stay tuned to for posts about the many exciting plans for 2019.

To learn more about our last fiscal year, click here to read our FY18 annual report.

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