Saginaw Habitat Adds Demolition to Its Mission
There is something jarring at the sight of hundreds of houses sitting empty, while many poor families need a place to live.
“Yeah, we might have enough homes here,” John C. Stemple, the city’s zoning and development coordinator, said, peering around the empty neighborhood. “But they’re not quality choices.”
Many of the houses exceed Habitat for Humanity’s modest size requirements.
“A lot of these are just too big for us to use,” said Mr. Warriner, noting that there was no point in restoring a house that someone then could not afford to maintain or heat. “Some of them are not in real good areas, perhaps. And some of them are just too far gone, too dangerous.”
Inside Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, where the group sells discounted items from demolitions, the floor is lined with sink basins, cabinets, doors, bathtubs, counters and wood. Leaders here hope that the program will ultimately pay for itself, that the profits from selling recycled items will one day cover the cost of taking down homes.
In a nearby office, Cameron Brady, Habitat for Humanity’s development manager, shows a visitor the latest photographs from a project. There are the volunteers, ripping away at walls and pulling down pieces in one of the few buildings they have removed so far. In later scenes, tired workers stand proudly in all that is left, a foundation.