Patti Wang Cross
Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
510.803.3348 | PWCross@HabitatEBSV.org
Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley and Lowe’s to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women during International Women Build Week
WALNUT CREEK, CA (MARCH 9, 2021) – Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley and Lowe’s are partnering to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15). On International Women’s Day, Habitat and Lowe’s will kick off more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need.
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“International Women Build Week, at its heart, is about women offering a hand up to other women,” said Janice Jensen, President and CEO of Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley. “Though this year’s gathering is virtual, our Women’s Crew will uphold that spirit as we anticipate the start of construction on yet another development that promises to empower more of our women neighbors through homeownership.”
Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.
Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley is marking the occasion with a virtual Esperanza Place Site Plan Read with its longtime Women’s Crew, a dedicated group of women who volunteer and fundraise together for the organization. While these and thousands of other volunteers eagerly await their chance to hammer shoulder-to-shoulder at this forthcoming 42-home development in Walnut Creek, they are excited to celebrate International Women Build Week with this first look at the plans. Some of these women have volunteered with Habitat for decades, and they have seen firsthand a transformation in the lives of so many women homeowners, from a tenuous month-to-month fear of displacement or unsafe conditions, to a sense of pride and hope as they build their future homes.
This story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.
Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.
To learn more or join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.
About HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EAST BAY/SILICON VALLEY
We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live. By creating, preserving and expanding access to affordable housing we provide families with the opportunity to transform their lives, gaining the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future. Our innovative model maximizes impact by building partnerships with families who contribute sweat equity, volunteers who give their time, and donors who contribute financially. Families gain economic stability and build a foundation for the future–for themselves, their children, and generations to come.
About Lowe’s in the Community
As a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, Lowe’s is committed to creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts through nonprofit partnerships. Across every community we serve, Lowe’s associates donate their time and expertise through the Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.