Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women during International Women Build Week
Somerville, NJ (March 8, 2021) – Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are partnering to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15). On International Women’s Day, Habitat and Lowe’s will kick off more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need.
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties has a decent place to live. The need is greater than ever,” says Melissa Flynn, Executive Director of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.
Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.
Cicely, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s current future homeowner searched for an affordable home with adequate space for her family for ten years. Although she is gainfully employed as an office manager, she was frequently told her income was too low.
This story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.
Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.
To learn more or join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.
About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township buwwild site, visit rvhabitat.org/volunteer.
About Lowe’s in the Community
As a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, Lowe’s is committed to creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts through nonprofit partnerships. Across every community we serve, Lowe’s associates donate their time and expertise through the Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.