BEND, OR -- Habitat for Humanity offices in Bend and Redmond are merging, in an effort to increase access to affordable housing for low to moderate income families. Bend Habitat's Robin Cooper Engle says the Redmond organization had smaller staff who didn't have access to the same program available to Bend. Yet, she says, Redmond's Habitat office gets more requests from families than houses it can build, until now, "There are some opportunities for folks: maybe the cost makes more sense, maybe the land makes more sense, there's still quite a bit more land available in Redmond. [It] Definitely increases the opportunities."
Cooper Engle believes joining forces will allow both groups to grow, "When we started, we were probably serving a couple of families a year, and that's not enough. We're doing good work, but you want to do more; you always want to do more. And so, the opportunity presented itself that we could also be helping Redmond. If we can go from serving one to two families, to quickly jumping to five within this first year, that would be incredible." She tells KBND News, "So this year, [Bend] will serve about 10 families through home ownership. Our goal is to completely double the capacity between the two communities. So, our hope is to be serving 20 families, between Bend and Redmond, within this next year."
Habitat For Humanity always needs volunteers who want to learn about building. Cooper Engle says they especially need people in Redmond, since the merger will create more opportunities in that area. Visit the new Bend-Redmond Habitat website for more information.