Sussex County Habitat for Humanity is seeking donations of buildable land or rehab-worthy homes.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity is one of the county’s main resources providing affordable homeownership for low-income families, but the organization is finding it difficult to acquire suitable building lots for its growing home construction program.

“Providing affordable housing is always a challenge,” said Executive Director Kevin Gilmore. “But it’s getting even more challenging here in Southern Delaware. Real estate prices are climbing again, making land purchases more difficult for us, and land donations — the lifeblood of our construction program — are not keeping up with our need for new building lots.”

SCHFH builds and rehabs 12 to 15 homes per year and has more qualified homeownership applicants than building lots in its inventory.

“There are plenty of properties out there,” said Jack Moore, Habitat’s property acquisition coordinator. “But affordable properties? Not so much. At least not in our current target areas of Laurel, Seaford and Ellendale. We build and rehab attractive, modestly-sized homes that appraise for between $150,000 and $165,000. By using volunteers and donated materials, Habitat can manage construction costs. The price of the property then becomes the critical variable. To make the numbers work, we generally need to purchase properties at below-market pricing. We’re just not finding very many that are suitable and priced right.”

Sussex Habitat relies on donated lots to keep its overall construction budget in check. Moore pointed out that donors may enjoy certain tax benefits while knowing their donation will make a huge difference in another family’s life.

Those who would like to donate or sell buildable land or a rehab-worthy home to SCHFH are encouraged to call 240-278-0430 to discuss options. Potential donors should speak to a tax adviser to learn more about the financial benefits of making a donation.

For volunteer opportunities and more, call 855-1153 or visit