By Kendall McGee | April 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT – Updated April 23 at 8:12 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – CFCC students in the school’s carpentry program are getting their hands dirty in the shop and also learning about the affordable housing crisis, thanks to a project arising from a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
”It’s almost therapeutic to work with wood, doing woodwork,” explained Eddie Alvarado. “We got to practice everything that we’ve done which is framing, trim, rafters everything that goes into it. It was almost the perfect project for us.”
The class’ latest class project helped sharpen Alvarado’s skills, but it wasn’t work on an actual home. Instead, the carpentry class worked together to produce two playhouses.
The kid-sized homes helped raise money to put people in real homes through Habitat for Humanity and open the door for affordable housing for local families.
“Housing is going through the roof right now; it’s because there’s just a lack of homes for people to live in,”explained Nick, a student in Alvarado’s carpentry class.
A lack of inventory and a hot real estate market isn’t making things easier and neither is the shortage of skilled trades-people.
The labor shortage is an important element in rising home prices; labor costs alone account for a third of the cost of a home.
“Owning a house and being a homeowner is really important to a lot of people and unless we have a diversified labor force to build those houses, people aren’t gonna be able to live the American dream of owning your own house and having something to call their own,” said Nick.
The students in this program hope to lend a hand in the workforce soon, and their sights are also set on inspiring the builders of tomorrow.
“Hopefully they love them,” mused Alvarado. “A lot of kids can be like ‘oh, one day I wanna build something like that!’ They might build something like this and say ‘oh, maybe I want to build something a lot larger.’”
The playhouses are getting primed now for next week’s event where teams will assemble and decorate them and send them off to local non-profits. The money raised by the building event will all go to Habitat for Humanity.
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