Atlanta, GA (July 1, 2009)- Building a Home- Building a Community: During the last two years, the Foundation has helped build or renovate more than 27,000 homes for families across the country. While the issues around the increasing number of mortgage defaults and foreclosures and the rippling effect on entire cities and regions have attracted much attention in this time, The Home Depot Foundation has partnered with nonprofit organizations and local leaders to help families move into homes that they can afford to live in for years to come.
This means that the mortgage or rent is manageable, but that’s just the beginning. They also work to ensure that the home is efficient so utility bills are affordable; that the location is close to schools, stores and jobs so transportation costs are low and commutes are short; and that the community includes parks and trees so residents can enjoy healthy, safe places outdoors.
The Importance of Homes
Taking this comprehensive view of what makes a home affordable creates an impact that extends far beyond the residents themselves. While vacant and dilapidated houses destroy the worth of entire neighborhoods, when people take pride in their homes and maintain them, property values improve. Over time, residents become more involved in their neighborhoods, schools and nonprofit organizations, creating stronger, more vibrant communities and reducing crime. Something as simple as a family planting a tree in their front yard demonstrates an investment in their community and a commitment to its future. The results of the initiatives outlined in this report demonstrate clearly that a stable home that is healthy and affordable can be the starting point of long-term success for an individual, a family or an entire city.
Taking the Next Step
The keys to a house or apartment are handed over, the furniture is in place and the moving boxes are empty, but the work of establishing a stable home has just begun. A “home” doesn’t mean just inside the four walls of a house or even the yard contained within the lot lines. Instead, it means the health and sustainability of the entire neighborhood, which has an enormous impact on the financial success and quality of life of a family. The Home Depot Foundation believes that people of any income should live where they can enjoy being outside; where trees provide shade and protection for their homes and clean the air and water; and where children attend schools that help them learn and prepare them to succeed. That’s why we support the planting of trees in parks, along streets and in schoolyards; the building and refurbishment of community play spaces; and the revitalization of school facilities.
In 2008 alone, the Foundation supported the planting and restoration of over 200,000 community trees; built and refurbished 159 playgrounds in parks and near schools and homes; and invested thousands of hours of volunteer time working with our neighbors to build stronger communities. They make these investments because they know that the benefits of improving a neighborhood impact each of the families that live there and extend throughout the broader community as well.
By investing money, time, and effort in our communities, we can see the results as families enjoy new parks, trees provide cooling shade and children take pride in a newly painted classroom. They also achieve financial stability as property values of homes increase, utility costs decrease and employers move in. Perhaps most important are the less visible changes, such as the important relationships that are formed, the feelings of pride and ownership in the community that are instilled and the healthier, more enjoyable lives the kids can lead.
Read the full The Home Depot Foundation Annual Report 2008.