Newburgh’s Habitat for Humanity’s 22nd Annual Walk for Housing

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NEWBURGH – Nearly 150 volunteers, community members, and Habitat homeowners gathered together on Sunday, September 12th at Washington’s Headquarters on Liberty Street in Newburgh to support the 22nd Annual Habitat for Humanity Walk for Housing. 

The walk itself highlighted current and previous projects while fostering community building and heightening awareness of the many achievements of an organization that has served the Greater Newburgh Community since its inception in 1999.

After a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the organization was still able to build some six to eight houses during the year. According to Executive Director Matthew Arbolino, these challenges included “limitations in our volunteer base, shortage of materials and other delays due to COVID.”  

Habitat has been impacted by dramatic increases in building costs in the same way construction projects throughout the nation have been affected.

Surprisingly, according to Arbolino, there has been a bright outcome in the way Habitat has been affected by the pandemic.  “A positive impact has been that housing and homeownership conversations are happening more than ever, both on a local and national scale.  We have seen that more people than ever want to help and are now understanding the importance of affordable homeownership to individual families and communities alike.”  

 Jay Beaumont, a nine-year veteran of Newburgh’s Habitat, said, “The cause is great. I like working with such great people and I like to build stuff.”

He said even though he has worked on 40 houses in the area, I’m not one of the longest-serving volunteers by a long shot.  There are volunteers who have been participating since 1998.”  

 As of this date, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh has completed 100 energy-efficient, affordable homes in an area known for its distressed housing. Owners of these homes contribute over $550,000 per year in city and school taxes. Habitat Newburgh has also helped build homes in Haiti, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, and Mexico.