Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties and Bank of America came together in Fort Myers on Thursday, Oct. 10 for Bank of America’s sixth annual Global Build.
A record number of nearly 2,800 bank volunteers worked this week alongside homeowners to help build, rehabilitate and repair homes. This year’s Global Build, the largest to date, will help address affordable housing needs in 108 communities across ten countries.
Financial Center Managers from Bank of America branches in Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, and Cape Coral helped paint the interior and exterior of a home on Majorca Palms in Fort Myers, a Habitat partner community. As new builds begin across Lee and Hendry counties for 2019-2020, Habitat’s vision is to build neighborhoods amongst its homeowners.
“Affordable housing is fundamental for promoting economic mobility among individuals and families,” said Gerri Moll, Southwest Florida market president for Bank of America. “Engaging our volunteers in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is one of the many ways we are helping build more sustainable communities in the region as part of our approach to responsible growth.”
Meeting the need for safe, affordable and sustainable housing remains a significant challenge in Lee County, where 50% of renters and nearly 30% of homeowners expend more than 30% of their income on housing. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), anyone spending more than 30% of their income on housing is “cost burdened,” and as a result may sacrifice nutritious food, healthcare and other necessities to make ends meet.
As a Global Build, the work done in Fort Myers coincided with projects in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, South Africa and across the United States
“Bank of America volunteers came together to participate in a Global Build initiative. Their work helps create pathways to affordable homeownership for families in Lee County,” said Sara Jordan, corporate impact officer at Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. “Knowing that this is part of a global effort only deepens the impact and emphasizes the importance of our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Habitat and Bank of America have partnered for more than 30 years, helping homeowners build or improve the places they call home. Each year, #BofAVolunteers give more than 40,000 hours to Habitat in their communities through board service, home build initiatives and financial literacy training for future Habitat homeowners.
Besides volunteerism in Lee and Hendry Counties, Bank of America also supports Habitat’s local mission with grant funding and by hosting financial education courses for homeowners in the North Fort Myers corporate office.