Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity looks to community for help weathering impact of increased lumber prices

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Nate Zepnick’s worked with Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity for six years, but he’s been building houses for much longer.

In his role as Construction Manager, he’s in charge of ordering supplies for home builds.

“I’ve never seen prices near this high before,” he said of essential supplies to build homes, like: “framing material, trusses, siding, roofing. That’s where we see the biggest increase in price.”

The increased cost of materials means building each home has become more expensive.

“We’ve seen about approximately $12,000 to $15,000 increase in cost for our homes,” Zepnick told Local 5. “This year we will be building nine homes, so it adds up to over $115,000 in additional cost for our build schedule for the year.”

Nine homes is up from the organization’s 10 year average of 7.5 homes per year.

“We will have…a dedication every month from September through May of next year, so during that span, we will be building nine homes,” Zepnick explained.

“We have an aggressive, an aggressive schedule right now with building homes. The reason we’re doing that is we want to show the community that we have to do this. The need is greater than it’s ever been for stable, affordable housing,” Cora Haltauferheid, Executive Director for Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity said of the organization’s plans for 2021.

The future homeowners of those houses currently in progress will not be impacted financially by the rising cost of materials.

It’s the clients that come next will see a difference in their interest-free mortgages.

“Their homes will be built in 12 to 18 months from now, [they] will be higher in cost than what the current homeowners are experiencing today. It’s like the rippling effect,” Haltauferheid explained.

The organization hopes to see a plateau and eventual decrease in the cost of building materials.

Until then, they’re looking to their supporters to see them through.

“We know that we live in a community that is giving, a community that cares,” Haltauferheid said. “I’m convinced that this community will rally around us and will support us.”


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