Elevated lumber prices are the biggest dent in local Habitat’s work over the past year, but operations continue | Local News


Volunteers work on a recent Habitat for Humanity home.

The Danville-Pittsylvania County Habitat for Humanity has continued work during the pandemic, but the nationwide trend of rising lumber prices has slowed its operations.

Lumber prices have begun to fall but are still much higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. More people working from home launched a trend in home-improvement projects, which increased demand for materials, thus boosting the cost.


Volunteers install a wall at a recent Habitat for Humanity project.

As people are returning to work at offices and plants, remodeling and building projects have dropped off, and the cost is now falling.

Habitat for Humanity — an affordable-housing advocacy nonprofit which partners with prospective homeowners and local companies to build homes from the ground up — has seen its own costs shoot up.

“I am always a year or so ahead on writing grants to have the funds available to build these homes, so we ended up about $5,000 short in the budget,” said executive director Kim Baldridge about the current project in Pittsylvania County. She had to write another grant proposal to cover the unexpected expense and will not know whether the organization will receive it until October.

Lumber prices may affect their future homes as well. In Danville, Habitat has plans for a community of entirely Habitat for Humanity houses, Habitat Village, on land donated by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The area will eventually have 30 homes and a community space. The group aims to start the first two homes in the spring of 2022, but if lumber prices remain high, these plans may be hindered.