CE Club January 2018 Update

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

Ashlyn Morgan, a project engineer at Kimley-Horn and Core Volunteer for Dallas Habitat for Humanity, presented to the students at Woodrow Wilson on the inner-workings of the organization. Ashlyn explained how interested families can apply to become Habitat for Humanity homeowners and how Habitat is not simply “giving away” houses. The organization is primarily targeting families earning somewhere between 25%-60% of the area median income and requires the families to go through home ownership and mortgage classes in addition to putting “sweat equity” (or volunteered build hours) into their home.

The students were then shown some of the floor plans that Dallas Habitat for Humanity has available for the homes. There is also a variety of façade options for the houses, which is primarily the result of requests from the Dallas City Council to add some diversity to the Habitat for Humanity houses popping up in various neighborhoods.

Ashlyn then asked the students to list off what they thought some of steps to building a home might be. Students mentioned important things such as lot size, soil conditions, surrounding area, trees, and wildlife. Ashlyn also explained how Habitat for Humanity has to do their due diligence to check the zoning requirements, flood plain status, access to public water utilities, and access to fire hydrants for the prospective house locations. Students were then given a large sheet of paper with a typical blank lot for them to develop their own house plan. Each team was given a different set of criteria ranging from ease of construction, maximizing floor space, and architectural features. Each group then presented their house plan design to the class and provided justification for their design. Additional photos can be found online here.