What is Habitat Tucson’s Home Repair Program?
Rich Hoffman has led Habitat Tucson’s Home Repair program for over 4 years. Rich always knew he was good with tools and project management skills- he grew up doing home improvement projects with his dad, who is a Habitat volunteer. When asked what he loves most about working for Habitat Tucson he shares, “Every day is different!”
The Home Repair program has two key components: Critical Home Repair and A Brush with Kindness. Critical Home Repair focuses on interior work or structural problems, while A Brush With Kindness is an exterior ‘facelift’ on a person’s home. Most of the time, they tend to be linked and often conducted on the same house, but not always.
Habitat Tucson is a value based organization. We lead with integrity to assure quality work and a job well done. Habitat budgets approximately $20,000 for each Home Repair. To ensure we can provide excellence and the maximum benefit to homeowners within that budget, we only do the repairs that are necessary within that cost range. For Critical Home Repairs, Rich supervises third- party contractors to oversee the work quality and make sure it lives up to the Habitat name.
Recipients qualify by falling within a certain income bracket and demonstrating their need for repairs. Rich shares with us that the most common reason for needing a Critical Home Repair is a roof leak. When we face a compromised roof, we always provide a complete roof replacement; a ‘patch job’ doesn’t adequately ensure longevity.
Besides roofs, Rich says that the most impactful Critical Home Repairs are often bathroom remodels and wheelchair ramps.
These repairs help make a home accessible for its occupants as they age and/or their mobility changes.
Rich says, “Just taking out the bathtub and putting in a shower, that could mean the world to somebody if it’s unsafe for them to get in and out of that bathtub.”
After the Critical Home Repair work is done, A Brush With Kindness is commonly performed with a combined team of volunteers and Habitat staff. Most A Brush With Kindness proiects consist of landscaping, painting, and replacing damaged exterior trim work.
The entire process beginning with paperwork takes around 3-6 months. The actual working window is 2-3 weeks.
The recipients of a home repair contribute sweat equity with Habitat Tucson, learning skills and giving back to the community.
Rich has learned some things, too, while leading the Home Repair program. He says, “I’ve conquered my fear of heights! Working on roofs and scaffolding was tremendously terrifying, but I had to do it. I can now look at a set of blueprints and understand what’s on each page and what goes into building a home. I really enjoy figuring out what all the different trades need to do to get to a complete repair. That’s exciting.”
Is there anything Rich would tell someone considering getting a Home Repair with Habitat?
Apply. He says, “If you qualify, it will change your life.”