Community, Opinion & Editorial

Habitat for Humanity to close CG ReStore, but will still provide affordable housing

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Thanks to the hard work of many committed volunteers, staff and generous donors, Habitat for Humanity has been well represented in the Cottage Grove Area since 1992.
At the end of 2017, as many of you may be aware, Cottage Grove merged with the Springfield/Eugene affiliate to form Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane. Through this merger, the leadership from both affiliates have come together into one organization to focus on supporting families to build and improve places to call home.
There is an increasing need for services like the ones Habitat provides in Lane County. The cost of rent is increasing faster than wages, housing stock is scarce and homeownership is increasingly out of reach for local families.
Habitat for Humanity believes that affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities. Later this summer, we will break ground in Cottage Grove on the second Habitat home in 2018 for a local future homebuyer. This is a significant commitment to building home ownership in the community and demonstrates our goal to serve the Cottage Grove Area as part of the greater Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane.
We recognize the housing crisis in Lane County, and across the state, is much bigger than the number of individuals and families we can serve. We know that building home ownership for a handful of families a year is not going to make a substantial difference in the county, but it is going to make a measurable and significant difference for those homebuyers.
We are a small, but important part of the puzzle that needs to be put together to address the need for affordable housing in Lane County.
A critical tool that has evolved in Habitat for Humanity across the country is the ReStore. The ReStore sells quality new and gently used building materials, décor, appliances and more. The revenue generated through the ReStore is invested back into the programs supporting home building and small home improvement projects. While many see the ReStore as the face of Habitat, and despite providing a valuable service for affordable home improvements, the selling of goods is not the primary goal of Habitat. Habitat for Humanity runs ReStores across the country for the purpose of supporting the mission of building homes, not as a service in and of itself to the community.
Despite significant effort, the ReStore location in Cottage Grove has proven to be a challenge to make successful. The staff and volunteers have worked hard and have demonstrated a level of commitment that is appreciated and commended; however, multiple factors have impacted the operations of this location. We have spent the past six months working to improve our bottom line in Cottage Grove, but the store remains in the red. As such, we have made the difficult decision to close the Cottage Grove ReStore.
It is important that the community understand that the long term goal of the ReStore was always intended to be a revenue source for building and improving homes. We cannot in good conscience continue to operate a store that is taking funding and staff time away from that primary mission of our organization.
Thank you to the community for your long standing support of Habitat for Humanity. We look forward to building a new home with you this fall, and continuing to partner with you to build and improve places to call home.
Kellie DeVore
Executive Director
& Linda Duffendack Oxley
Field Office Manager



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