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Habitat for Humanity faces increased housing costs in light of rising lumber prices

Starting prices for homes raised nearly 40 percent in the last five years.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Habitat for Humanity officially completed one of their affordable housing projects in Davenport.

The three bedroom and one bathroom home on 6th Street took volunteers nearly 18 months to complete.

"We currently have three [homes] including this one that is near completion," Development Director, Elesha Gayman said. "We'll have a total of eight [homes] at different locations that we're working on this year."

While the non-profit relies on free labor from volunteers, raw material costs are an out-of-pocket expense.

Skyrocketing lumber prices have raised their average home price to $130,000.

"Almost five years ago, we were able to build a house for $99,000 starting, so over that amount of time we have seen astronomical increases. Lumber for example, in just the course of a year has gone up 101 percent," said Gayman.

The price of their homes increased by nearly 40 percent. But, Gayman is hopeful the prices will soon decrease.

"I've always seen these inflation bumps," she said. "We never go right back down to where it was before, but we are hopeful that we'll start to see this slow down. That the supply can catch up with the demand and hopefully stave off any more huge increases, like we've seen over the last year."

In the meantime, Habitat for Humanity continues to combat rising costs by purchasing materials in bulk and using volunteer resources.

"We have been blessed because our volunteers and our supporters have continued to step up during this difficult time and help us make ends meet so we can continue to help more families in the Quad Cities."

To find more ways to help, visit their website here