Real Estate Show with Habitat for Humanity

Real Estate Show with Habitat for Humanity with Brandon Thoms

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Real Estate Show Habitat for Humanity

Alice Lema: [00:00:00] Well, hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. So glad you could join us again today. I'm Alice Lema, I'm your host of the show. I'm a broker here in beautiful southern Oregon with John Scott Real Estate. In today we get to talk to Brandon Thoms from Habitat of Humanity. And you know what's really fun about talking to Brandon, who is actually the director of programs and operations for Habitat for Humanity is he'll be talking what Habitat for Humanity does.

And also bringing in some information about one of my favorite places in the whole world, their rehab store. They call it the Restore. It's down on South Pacific Highway down by Harry and David. But. It's the whole Habitat for Humanity program that he's gonna be bringing us up to speed on. Super excited to have Brandon Thoms of Habitat for Humanity on the show today.

Before we get to that chat with Brandon of Habitat for Humanity, wanna talk briefly about the local [00:01:00] stats. You know, we've been tracking week to week, kind of where we've been, which is micro monitoring for sure. But things I wanted to bring to your attention was we keep talking about how we still have a little higher appreciation for 2022, even with all the volatility and all of the price reductions of people maybe starting a little too high in the market.

But what does that actually mean to our three counties? So here today, I just wanted to remind you that in Jackson County, our prices are 5% year to date for 2022. But what that means is this year, Jackson County is averaging over $510,000 per property per sale. Now that includes a lot of rural property and a lot of big residential pieces, but still it's up 5% from this time last year.

Josephine County is [00:02:00] up 6% from this time last year, and the average sales price is over $466,000. Klamath County is up 9% from this time last year in its averaging over $323,000 per property. So just wanna put things in perspective. We always talk about how we're up a little bit from last year, but what does that really mean?

Well, Actually some big numbers and we'll keep, we'll keep tabs on that, letting you know how we're doing here in Southern Oregon housing. So let's take a quick break and say thank you to our sponsors. We appreciate all three of 'em. We're brought to you by John Scott, Ashland, Medford Guy Giles of Churchill Mortgage, and also Rogue Valley Association of Realtors. We'll be right back with our chat with Brandon Thoms of Habitat for Humanity. Don't touch that dial.

Well, welcome back everybody to the Real Estate Show. So happy you could join us today. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker with John L. Scott. Beautiful [00:03:00] Southern Oregon here. And today I am so excited to be talking to Brandon, the director of Programming and Operations for Habitat for Humanity. Welcome, Brandon.

Brandon Thoms: Thanks for having us. We're happy to be here.

Alice Lema: So I just call you Brandon. What's your last name?

Brandon Thoms: Thoms, Thoms.

Alice Lema: Okay. Brandon, Thoms, sorry. Brandon and I have talked in the past trying to do real estate things on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Why don't we start with that, Brandon, why don't you talk a little bit about what what you do out there for a habitat, and then we'll go from there.

Brandon Thoms: Right. So habitat for Humanity's been in the valley for about 34 years now. We are the single provider of affordable home ownership opportunities for local low income families in need. We find families that are in need of stable, decent and affordable home ownership, and we give them the opportunity to build alongside our volunteers and realize their dream of having [00:04:00] something that can last them the lifetime.

We've built, we're currently building five homes all of which are in Phoenix and Talent working on our 74th through our 79th homes here in Jackson County. Yeah, it's exciting. We also have a repair program. We've been doing, we've done about six ramps in the last few months. We got some funding to do some ramps, which that's one of my heart passion programs because it's for a, a small amount of money in a couple days worth of work. We can retain someone's dignity and independence and let them live safely in their home. So. That's my heart project and I'm happy to have some more funding for that again.

And then of course we have the restore the, the magic essence that makes it all work a restore is where individuals can donate gently used appliances and building materials and furniture. And in turn, we sell that to the public at a very discounted price, and then the profits from the store [00:05:00] cover our administrative costs so that while we're out fundraising for our build programs, all that money can funnel directly into that effort. It's just a formula that's proven successful for us that is simple and keeps on ticking.

So the Restore is an essential part of that. I'm excited to tell you more about that today. And then the reason why we're here is to build for our families. So we've got a lot of things in the works and always growing and trying, trying new things. So we'll talk a little bit more later about our, some of our upcoming housing projects as well.

Alice Lema: Oh, good. Good, good, good. Well, there's so much ground to cover. It's hard to know where to start. Right. So, Big fan. Big fan did not realize you'd been in the valley for 34 years. That's a really long time.

Brandon Thoms: We've been in it. We started in the basement of the first United Methodist Church in Medford, where they used to have the Kelly shelter. And in the first few years it was, it was all just donation and do you know this contractor? And so they were building about one house every few years.[00:06:00] And then as we learn to, to maximize every opportunity and land code changes and, and partnerships are forged, we, we start doing more with the little that we have.

And so we've been able to grow exponentially and working on five houses at one time is a new thing for us. But it's been really exciting.

Alice Lema: So five construction projects at once. That's, that's a lot, That's a lot of management. How, how does the construction actually happen? Who takes care of all those arrangements?

Brandon Thoms: So we are a licensed general and we have a construction supervisor and a construction director that are both on staff. And then we just kind of jump from project to project working around. We obviously can't do the licensed work like electrical and plumbing. So we just manage the schedule accordingly.

And, and the essence of our program that truly helps us make it affordable is all the volunteerism that we use. We have people that are out there with us on [00:07:00] Tuesdays and Fridays, swinging hammers and, and, and making people's dreams come true. And without them, we wouldn't be able to provide the affordable housing that we do.

Alice Lema: Oh, so you have a volunteer schedule? Tuesdays and Fridays?

Brandon Thoms: Yeah. From nine to three. They're out there working their hardest and they're just so, they're just the, the backbone of what we do and they, they keep us coming back for more and, and pushing us further and further. They're great. We love our volunteers.

Alice Lema: Yeah, that's, that's super awesome. So the construction itself, you were mentioning earlier that the, the folks that are actually going to be living in the home and owning the home, contribute their energy and time alongside the volunteers. Tell us a little how that works.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah, so we call that sweat equity. So each family is required to put in 500 hours of sweat equity, 200 for each adult homeowner. And it takes us about nine to 12 months to build a unit. Maybe a little shorter than that, but we really work with [00:08:00] them to give them every opportunity to be involved in the process. It creates some sort of self-reliance and pride and teaches them new skills, huge pride of ownership, knowing that they know exactly where the water lines are and drove the nails and the studs themselves.

And it's just so, so great to see them grow in confidence as well as to be firsthand alongside our volunteers and see that the community cares and investing in this opportunity for them, and, and it just creates the habitat family.

Alice Lema: That's fabulous. Well, and you're doing such good work in 79, did you say 79 houses?

Brandon Thoms: 79, yeah the the five we're building now are all for almeda fire survivors.

Alice Lema: I was gonna ask about that.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah. Yeah. So we, all five of these are on lots that were burned out in the fire and all five of the families were not homeowners before the fire. So it's kind of nice that out of this tragedy, they can realize something brand new and a dream come true. And they're all just been some of the hardest working families [00:09:00] we've ever partnered with and they're so grateful and it's just been a really heartwarming process. Then we're also getting ready to start building in Ashland. We've got a development over there thanks to a donation from KDA.

We've got on Mountain, we'll be building eight homes over there in Ashland, and it's been 15 years since we've been in Ashland.

Alice Lema: Oh, are you over by the high school?

Brandon Thoms: Up higher northbound, kinda near the, the development up there.

Alice Lema: So when you're talking about houses, are these big houses, small houses, apartments, cottages? What are we doing here?

Brandon Thoms: It all depends on what, what we, what we have. We, we are really good at maximizing how many units we can build on a special piece of property. We work with incredible engineers and architects to make sure we can get the most out of what we have available to us. In Ashland there's some CC&R requirements we'll need to follow for these, developments.

So they will be, there'll be some bigger homes and we're usually building some more upscale finishes because we want them to align with the rest of the development. [00:10:00] And then when we build phase two, those, which will be the second four homes or the second set of four in Ashland will be smaller cottage style, two bedroom, one bath for the smaller family size.

 So that's exciting that we can kind of cover the gamut. We don't often have the ability of building such smaller units and this last parcel just worked great for us cottage cluster, so that's exciting for us to be able to, to build for a, a size that we don't typically have the opportunity.

Alice Lema: Well, and it's nice to have some variety because different families have different needs. So, Good for you for being able to meet that.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah, it's exciting.

Alice Lema: So as the director of program and operations, what does your day look?

Brandon Thoms: My day is typically spent working with our homeowners or, or our partner families that are in need of a ramp or project.

I also handle our marketing, so there's a lot of, lot of work spreading the news about what we're doing next and trying to [00:11:00] connect with both the donor and the consumer that wants to come shop in the restore or trying to to find more volunteers to help us build for our. There's, there's never a message we don't need to share.

So just like this opportunity we're always thankful for being able to spread the word. And our families work hard to take advantage of this opportunity. It's not a free house by any means. We give them a very affordable home mortgage. We do not charge them any interest. We hold the loan on these homes.

And they pay their property taxes just like you and I. And it's an incredible, it's an incredible opportunity that after 30 years we've really got it dialed in to make sure that it goes off without a hitch and everybody finds success and, and longevity in their home.

Alice Lema: Well, and I didn't realize that Habitat for Humanity carries the mortgage.

Brandon Thoms: We do.

Alice Lema: Well, let's talk about that, cuz I bet a lot of people don't know that. How does that work?

Brandon Thoms: So we fund the first mortgage, which is guaranteed affordable. So it's no more than 30% [00:12:00] of a family's gross monthly income. Including taxes and insurance. So right now for our low income families, a mortgage payment is typically anywhere from 600 to $850 a month. It covers just the cost of construction. And then what we do is we put a silent second behind that first mortgage that's forgiven after 30 years, and it's just designed to protect the equity in the in the home at the sale. When we sell it, you know, just to make sure you know that you're in it for the long haul and not just there to, to turn it and get rich quick.

No flippers here. We also have a first ride of repurchase and some other things built into it just to make sure that they're in it for the long haul and, and looking for a long term stable solution.

Alice Lema: So that is so interesting. So you really are creating an opportunity. That is from the beginning to the end, literally soup to nuts for these affordable homes to be, I guess, purchased. [00:13:00] So they are purchasing from, you. Yeah. Okay.

Brandon Thoms: And they'll, they'll be on title, we'll be there as a lein holder. They invest a thousand dollars. They have a, an IDA account where they save a thousand dollars, which goes towards closing costs. We, we, we control the whole process as much as we can. Obviously anytime we can add things in there, like grant funders or sometimes we're able to use some NSP, some neighborhood stabilization or some community development block grant funds.

But for the most part it's just us, which is why our fundraising is so essential. And we work so hard because we really do focus on setting these people up for success and we don't profit off of them. There's we don't charge any interest. And That's, that's our covenant to, to the community. And, and we hold pretty true to that all, all as much as well.

Alice Lema: I'm just fascinated. I, I thought I knew so much about Habitat . So glad you're here. Because I, the, the idea of actually doing the financing almost like a, a [00:14:00] seller financing cuz that was one of my big questions is how do these people go forward with their 30 year mortgage and what happens if they wanna sell?

Brandon Thoms: So they can sell it and, and there's a, they, they earn equity as long as they're throughout their longevity in the program. So The longer they're in the home, the more equity share they receive. And that's our way to, to make sure we keep it affordable for as long as possible. Every one of our affordable housing units is a, is a gem to the community for sure.

Alice Lema: Oh, I would totally agree. Totally agree. Well, we have a quick break coming up. We're talking to Brandon Thoms of Habitat for Humanity. He's the Director of Programs and Operations there. And Habitat is not only a huge blessing in our valley, but they have a lot of other things that they can do, like the RAMP programs.

So we've gotta take a quick break. We'll be back talking to Brandon Thoms here shortly from Habitat for Humanity. We're thankfully brought to you by John Scott, Ashland, Medford, Guy Giles, Churchill Mortgage. [00:15:00] And our local Rogue Valley Association of Realtors. We will be right back.

Hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. We're talking to Brandon Thoms today of Habitat for Humanity. He's the director of programs and operations. And boy, we are learning tons. Just when you thought you knew kind of all about Habitat, this idea that you carry the mortgages for the people without interest is really amazing. That feels like the key to the whole thing.

I mean, all of the parts are important for sure. But that financing ability, cuz that is a big problem for people who need affordable housing, the financing.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah. Being able to control that is essential. Cuz I mean, we're the ones that we can make our own lending policy as long as we stay within the guidelines of, of government and federal regulation.

And so if you have a credit blemish, let's talk about it. Let's find out what it was. Let's get it fixed and let's get you in your home. And unfortunately, our lenders that have to be [00:16:00] so risk minded, don't have the luxury of, of making those accommodations throughout the process. So, It's definitely a more user friendly format, but again, it's very expensive to fund a hundred thousand dollars, 150, hundred and $75,000 mortgage.

So we can't do the volume that we would always like to do. So again, that's why we're always, always fundraising. And again, that brings us to our restore, which is truly the, an essential and incredible part of our process.

Alice Lema: And what a fun place. Now, if you don't know what we're talking about, folks, there's a store on South Pacific Highway just past the first exit. First Medford exit South. This will say directions. Towards Harry David. Yep. Next to Harry and David. Thank you. And how long is that store been in existence.

Brandon Thoms: So the store has been in existence for, I believe, 10, 10 or 12 years. It used to be down on First Street in Medford. And then kind of when the economy [00:17:00] was in a downturn, our leadership here at the affiliate had the opportunity to purchase this complex that was previously,

Alice Lema: Oh, you guys own the building?

Brandon Thoms: We do. So we have this large building that houses our administrative office. People don't know this, but actually behind our administrative office we own, there's a cabinet shop back there, a woodworking shop, our construction warehouse. So we have volunteers that build all of our custom cabinetry for our home and save us thousands of dollars every year. And then we have our Restore, which takes up the bulk of the footprint. But truly you said it's a magical place. There's, there, you will never find the same thing twice when you walk through our Restore. And if you do, it's special because things move out so quickly and we receive donations Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So while those are being processed, literally every hour of every day there's something new being rolled onto the floor.

Alice Lema: And it's construction stuff, folks. It's [00:18:00] windows, it's doors. I, I just, I can see it in my head. What else do we have there?

Brandon Thoms: We're landlords best friend. I mean, we've got landlords best, we've replacement floor registers, we've got remnant flooring. We've got closet doors. We have interior doors. We have an incredible selection of lighting, which people don't really think from us. Oh, we get some very expensive donated lighting. Do people just forget to look up when they're in the restore. Cuz we hang them above them. We have some incredible appliances.

We've been working on some partnerships to get some new scratch and dent appliance items that are a little more expensive than we normally charge. But brand new and really, really nice stuff. What else? Plumbing section.

Alice Lema: What do you by scratch and dent, what does that mean?

Brandon Thoms: Like manufacturer liquidations because maybe there was a dent in the handle of a refrigerator that they can't sell. And so we're able to acquire those through some partnerships.

Alice Lema: And so are people [00:19:00] donating those appliances or are you getting most of them?

Brandon Thoms: Some of the scratch and dent stuff. We have a purchase we have a purchase agreement with It, it's a gamut. I, I would say probably 90% of the stuff in the store is donated by the public. And like I said, it's new every day. If you're here and you don't see, see what you're looking for, you can literally come back tomorrow and chances are it may be there.

Alice Lema: So let me ask you about appliances. If somebody wants to donate washer and dryer, but the washer doesn't work perfectly, is that okay? Or should we have it fixed before you pick it up or we bring it to you?

Brandon Thoms: Great question. So Unfortunately, because we run on such a shoestring budget, we don't have the staff available to invest in fixing things that are broken. We service them and clean them to make sure you're getting something. We also offer a 30 day guarantee on appliances.

Alice Lema: Oh, that's good.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah. So We wanna make sure if, if for some reason something slips by us and there's an issue with the item, we don't want someone to be stuck with [00:20:00] that. So there is a 30 day guarantee on our appliance items, but if something's damaged, we ask that you fix it before it's provided to us. We just don't really have the time or, or capital to invest in repairing them. You did touch on something else really brilliant though, is that you can actually schedule a curbside pickup. So if you're not able to bring your donation to Habitat on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you can go to our website and at the top you can click Donate to the Restore, and it takes you to a website that will help you schedule a curbside pickup of your donation.

 Unfortunately, due to liability and covid restrictions, our employees can't go into a home. But we can go in a garage, in a carport, curbside to pick up the items that you'd like to donate to us. And that's free.

Alice Lema: Yeah, that sounds super cool. What area does that cover for pickups?

Brandon Thoms: It'll, we'll go to Ashland. We go to Grant's Pass. We go out to Gold Hill and Rogue [00:21:00] River. We cover the, we cover most of the Valley.

Alice Lema: Wow, that's fantastic. We're talking to Brandon Thoms of Habitat for Humanity and. It's the Restore that originally I was calling about because for some reason I thought they were two different departments . So, so I'm so glad that I got a hold of you. And Brandon and I know each other from real estate cuz he is also a licensed real estate agent was with Signature Realty, is that right? Yeah. Yeah. So let's, yeah, so let's talk about land acquisition, cuz that's how I know you from. And then some of the challenges that we'd like to get out to the public so that they can maybe help.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah. So land is obviously where we begin because we can't build on our homes without it. The unfortunate aspect is it's so hard to come by and the land that is ready to come by is costly. We either find an infill lot that may be shovel ready and have [00:22:00] infrastructure and city services available to it, and then we have to make sure we can build to whatever, if it has some CC&R's or some code requirements that fit in with what habitat typically builds.

Or we find a piece of land that maybe needs an investment of infrastructure, but that gets really costly, especially if you have to expand city services. Or it may not be with it directly within that urban growth boundary and ready to be built on right away. So most often we have to purchase our land. From time to time we have opportunities where people call us and they'd like to leave us a gift, estate gift. Or whether they have a plot, a an plot of land and they just feel it on their heart that they'd like to, to pay it forward to someone else. We had that in a rogue river.

There was a, an incredible donor in Rogue River. They gave us a parcel of land. Arva did sponsored two houses out there on that development. And that was donated to us. We had a significant investment in [00:23:00] infrastructure for that project, but without that land we would've never been, been able to build, especially in that rural setting like that. So it does happen. It's rare but if it's someone's called upon it or it's put up on their heart to give to us, we love receiving land.

One of the really neat things about the city of Ashland is they have some inclusionary zoning restrictions on their books. So if a developer goes in and is developing market rate housing, depending on the volume, a certain portion of it needs to be put aside for affordable housing.

Which is how our partners came to find us from KDA to build on these units in, in Ashland. They are being donated to us. They're graciously putting in all the infrastructure and making sure we have utilities ready. This is gonna incredible opportunity and a great opportunity for families.

There's some wonderful affordable housing initiatives in Ashland where there's some subsidized property tax agreements on file. Just really people [00:24:00] working together to make everything affordable. And like I said, it's been 15 years since we've been there, so in, in this hot of a market for the stars to align, for us to build in the Ashland community, just so thankful.

Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and just, you know under structure, groundwork is what they call it in construction, and that's putting in the roads, the sidewalks, preparing the pads, and, and all that is extremely expensive. So I am so tickled to hear how much you had donated toward those properties. That's amazing.

Brandon Thoms: And even things you don't think about, like accommodating for storm watered runoff and power conduits and cable conduits and they just start dollar signs, just start racking up as we get there. Yeah. Storm water. And so somebody gutters. Yeah, that's somebody willing to invest in that for us, we just, we couldn't pass it up. So it's really, really exciting.

Alice Lema: So for the Restore your [00:25:00] retail outlet on South Pacific Highway are you getting more donations from regular people or from building contractors?

Brandon Thoms: We don't get a lot of donations from building contractors because I think it's for two reasons. They've gotten so good at bidding their projects. They kind of know the materials they need. Or they're so busy. They know their extra will get used again right away. But I will tell you they love shopping with us because we're a great place and a pinch to go and look for that odd one off thing they might need.

So it is, Not an abnormal day to pull out in this parking lot and see seven or eight big rigs out there with construction labels on the side, looking for that last one or two minute thing to, to finish your job out.

Alice Lema: Oh, that's super cool. I send so many people to the re the the Restore shop because if you're getting an older house or like you said, a one off thing, if, and I tell people, just take your measurements in the car with [00:26:00] you and go in like every two days. Yeah. You could literally find that perfect little something that you can't get anymore else.

Brandon Thoms: We have some incredible donation partners, some window contractors that you never know. They may go and do a replacement job and they may have pulled out beautiful vinyl windows to replace with something similar, and they'll run a trailer full down here. And the day before you were here and we had nothing, and the next day we just maybe stacked from front to back with incredible vinyl windows. So anything rolls in, in anything can roll in this place.

Alice Lema: , I've seen pieces of granite in your store. Not for very long . Yeah. But yeah. We're talking to Brandon Thoms of Habitat for Humanity. He's the Director of programs and Operations. So we are gonna have to take a quick break. It's just so many things to talk about, Brandon, so just hang tight. We'll be back shortly. We're brought to you Guy Giles of [00:27:00] Churchill Mortgage, John L. Scott Ashland, Medford, and our local Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, lovingly called RVAR. We appreciate you all, so stay tuned. We have more with Brandon Thoms of Habitat from Humanity.

Well, welcome back to the Real Estate Show folks. So glad you could join us. We're talking to Brandon Thoms today of Habitat for Humanity. And just a quick note, this broadcast will air again tomorrow, Sunday at 6:00 PM So Brandon, I it's so much to talk about. Right. I'm so happy to have you. During the break, we were touching briefly on families either get chosen or how they find you, How does that happen where you get the humans involved?

Brandon Thoms: Sure. So we are only able to accept applications during what we call an open application window. So what'll happen is, we will put out an, an appeal to the public, letting them know we'll send out press releases. We'll send out emails, we'll send out [00:28:00] postcards put it all over our social media that we're preparing to open an application window.

But lately we've been able to tell people where we will be building because we knew that information ahead of time and really dial in the specifics of the development that we're looking for families for on our website. There, there's a program called, there's a, a tab at the top of our website called housing programs.

There you can list, you can review a Q and A about what it takes to be selected for the program. You can download and review our qualification guide so you know what we're looking at when we review applications. And at the bottom of the page are some green boxes that allow you to put in your contact information so that the next time we're doing an application window, we'll personally reach out to you and let you know where we're building. And ask like a list, ask that you apply to join to the, apply for the program if it's a good place for you. Great information on our website.

Alice Lema: Sorry, I So many questions. Yeah. [00:29:00] So what is the website address?

Brandon Thoms: So it's rogue valley, and on there you can find what our current projects are. You can find information about the Restore, you can schedule your restore donation pickup. You can get information about how to become a partner, family, and you can also donate to Habitat for Humanity.

Alice Lema: That's fabulous. So we have the holiday. You know, time coming up. If somebody wanted to make a gift, would they just go to the website or if they're donating actual property, should they call you instead?

Brandon Thoms: Yeah, get in touch with us. We're happy to discuss any idea you might have. You can donate online. We have individuals that choose to donate via their CPA or their investment firm. Maybe you don't want to take your required minimum distribution from your investment. Or we have people that leave legacy gifts and like to leave us in their last will in their state.

We've, we've been really blessed by those, especially a couple of [00:30:00] late, that have given us an opportunity to Grow and expand our, our programs and our offerings, so yeah, and even if it's just donating to the Restore or donating time as a volunteer, it all goes in into the big melting pot that makes it all all work out the habitat way in the end. So it's vital to, to our success. And thankfully we live in an incredibly caring and giving community that they always answer our call whenever, whenever we ask. So we're, we're more than grateful.

Alice Lema: That's wonderful. For the five projects you have going now, are those gonna run through the winter? Do you still need volunteers?

Brandon Thoms: We always can use volunteers. We have, we build, like I said, Tuesdays and Fridays from about nine to three. Two of those houses are going to wrap up here the end of this week. So the families are getting to move in and purchase their home this Friday. They'll be signing at the title company. And then the other three will continue to be under [00:31:00] construction through the winter. One may finish up before the end of the year.

But then we move into that Ashland development, so we'll be rolling into even more work. So there's, there's no shortage of opportunity to get involved. And, and you know, we even use volunteers at the Restore to help us, oh, to help us test electronics or to clean up an item or to price things, or even volunteer cashier.

We'll, we'll deploy, we'll deploy volunteers anywhere we can, because again, it saves us on, on our staffing expenses and, and they truly do a bang up job.

Alice Lema: Yeah. What a, what a fabulous operation you guys have. Is there a for the families that are put into the program to actually do their own, to get their own home is there a are there any I don't know how to ask this, but like, are these fire victims? You had mentioned earlier in the interview we had a couple fire victims, but when they're not fire victims, where are people coming from? Like what, what is their, they're situation from anywhere and everywhere.

Brandon Thoms: All we ask is that you [00:32:00] have a demonstrated need for housing. Some people come from inadequate housing where maybe there's no heat. Maybe there's electrical problems, maybe it's dangerous. Or we have a lot of people that are overburdened. Maybe they're paying 70% of their income towards their housing costs. Or they're overcrowded. People are forced families of five, six, and seven forced to live in a two bedroom unit just because it's all they can afford.

And, and that's a, that's enough to be qualified for our program without, without a doubt. All you have to have is, is fit within our income parameters. And it's not to say we know that people that don't fit within our income parameters don't have a need for housing.

It's just not one that I can provide a solution for, but if you fall within our income parameters and you have that need for housing, let's take a look and let's chat. Our, our specific Almeda fire survivor houses were just were just intended for people that were impacted by that disaster.

Ashland is, is not is not within the fire disaster program, so that [00:33:00] will be open to anyone with a need for, for affordable housing that fits within our income.

And when do the Alameda Fire folks get to move into their house? Well, one's moving, two of them are moving in this weekend. And then another one will probably be right before Christmas, and then another couple will be in spring.

Alice Lema: Oh, that is so exciting. Well, with a couple minutes we have left what fundraising, how can we help as a community to keep Habitat for Humanity out there?

Brandon Thoms: I think if you're a contractor or you have a special skill or trade, we're always looking at people to partner with us, whether it be concrete, whether it be drywall companies. We just, we, our volunteers have not quite mastered drywall. It's a, it's a fine art. It is an art, so we do have to pay for it, but if somebody were, somebody owned a drywall company and wanted to support us, we have incredible partners that are currently donating countertops to us.

Like I said, we have our volunteers that are building. Some roofing partners, but [00:34:00] if you're an electrician or you're a plumber and you would like to donate to the process, that's a significant expense for us in the building process as well as property. If you're a landowner and you have it on your heart to donate and give an opportunity to families in need, we would love to talk with you.

And, and it sounds cliche, but really truly, every 10 and $20 makes a difference. So if that's what's within your budget and your capabilities, we're so thankful to receive it and completely grateful to have such. So you can do that through our website. You can do it. You can call us, you can come see us. We'll do anything we can to make it.

Alice Lema: So how do people reach you by phone? Brandon, we just have a few seconds left.

Brandon Thoms: Yeah, Call us (541) 779-1983 or our website, rogue valley

Brandon Thoms Habitat for Humanity, the Director of Programs and Operations. I hope you'll come back again and talk to us on the Real Estate Show.

We're gonna have to say goodbye for now, folks. Have a beautiful weekend. Hug those [00:35:00] you love and remember program will air again tomorrow, Sunday at 6:00 PM Bye now. Thank you.

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