Sunday, May 18, 2008

Habitat for Humanity: A Few Questions

Randy Forrester is a 36 year-old lighting fabricator who earns $42,000 per year. He and his family are moving into a 3-bedroom townhouse in Burnaby valued at $325,000. Yet he only has to pay $200,000. Why? Because he got involved with Habitat for Humanity, and donated 500 hours of his time toward the building of his home.

Hmmm, if we divide $125,000 by 500, that works out to $250 per hour. Is Mr. Forrester able to bill out at that rate in the free market? I doubt it.

One can't fault Forrester for simply signing up to a program that is offered to him but why on earth is Habitat for Humanity receiving any public funds?!? Those funds are coming from your taxes and mine. They're also coming from the taxes of people who are making a lot less than $42,000 per year.

I'm convinced that the average person in society wants to help out those who are truly challenged. But is it any wonder that people get cynical when stories like this come to light?


win said...

Can you show me where HFH is getting any Government funds?

Non of their sponsors are governments. They are all private individuals, organizations and corporations.

If you are wrong, you need to apologize profusely.

PelaLusa said...

Hey "Win",

Just check out the articles in The Vancouver Sun, The Province, or 24 Hours. It took me a grand total of 5 seconds to get the information.

For the record, I'm not against Habitat for Humanity. In fact, I think it's a great thing. I just don't think they should be getting any public funds for the clear reasons I stated.

Now that we've resolved that, I look forward to you crawling out of your anonymous cover and publicly apologizing to me for insinuating that I would deliberately post a lie.

I'm waiting ...

win said...

i apologize.
you are right.
i said that if you were wrong...
you weren't.
my research was sloppy.

md said...

Donations to charitable organizations are tax deductible; even if taxpayers are not directly funding an organization, I think it is perfectly valid for them to ask for, and get, explanations about their finances. And to make it meaningful, the tax deductible status of an organization should be something that is up for revision if it appears that there are abuses or waste.

PelaLusa said...

Mr. M.,

You raise yet another issue that I hadn't even considered. My concern/dismay was the direct contribution of government coffers to an organization that is selling homes for less than market value.

Now, if they want to be HONEST and just say that Randy Forrester et al have won a lottery of $125,000 then so be it. I'd still be peeved but not as much.

You know, my feelings on this are very similar to why I'm against universal daycare. I saw such a program in operation in Montreal. There you had women in $60,000+ automobiles dropping off their children to daycare. Thus, the taxes of Quebecers were subsidizing these affluent families.

Absolutely nuts!


md said...

I read a story a few years back about how a lot of HFH homes were being refinanced by their owners from their near zero interest rate into something much higher because they realized they could cash out of the homes. The idiocy of it was astounding; I can't help but wonder that no matter how much money and resources you throw at some people, they will squander or misuse it.