Affordable does not necessarily mean cheap – Habitat for Humanity St. Charles

Green Gab Episode 19Gabbing with Michelle Woods with Habitat for Humanity- St. Charles. Michelle gets to tell us a little about herself and the incredible work that Habitat does in the community. Michelle joined Habitat for Humanity about 5 years ago. About 1 year into her time at Habitat, she started working in the home building side of Habitat, and that’s where Michelle and Marla first became acquainted with each other. So far, Habitat- St Charles has built 75 homes, all to green building principles. Of those 75, 21 are in the process of getting a green building certification. Michelle says “Green Building is common sense building.” As we have discussed on other episodes, while getting the certification is great and it shows the level of quality in the home, it’s important that the home is built using green building practices.

green-gab-play-ghc-300x300According to Michelle, the vision of Habitat for Humanity- International is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” There are many Habitats around the world, all creating simple, decent, affordable homes through building new homes or rehabbing existing homes. Using green building techniques allows Habitat to build affordable homes yet affordable does not necessarily mean cheap. It means smart and sustainable, and less expensive to operate and maintain. The homeowners get to help build their own homes. This allows the homeowners to really learn the correct way to properly operate and maintain their homes, plus it really ties them to the community they are building a home in.

The increasing costs of building new homes remains a challenge for organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Because of this, the mix of news homes being built versus homes being rehabbed is ever changing depending on the community. Habitat’s motto started as “One home, one family”, but Habitat International is really working to branch out any way they can to help a family with affordable housing by looking outside of the box and doing whatever they can to help the community.

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Habitat here in St Louis and St Charles support a lot of their activities through their Re-Store. Re-Store is open to the public from Wednesday thru Saturday, and they sell a wide array of home furnishings and building materials. Many of the items are donated so the proceeds from their sale goes fully to support Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing in the community. St Louis has two Re-Stores and is a self-sustainable model that helps pay for overhead, as well as helping to pay for home construction.

If you want to help out with Habitat, you can donate to the Re-Store. You can also volunteer. They have volunteers in every aspect of their business, but the most popular is on the construction sites themselves. They build through all seasons on Wednesdays, Friday’s and Saturdays. The Re-Store also needs volunteers as well. To learn more about volunteering, check out their websites at or You can do group activities, sponsor days, participate in Women Build, etc.

Habitat for Humanity St Charles will build about 4-6 homes per year. When combined with Habitat for Humanity St Louis, Habitat ends up being one of the larger home builders in the metro area. In fact, Habitat is one of the largest home-builders nationally as well. Most people do not think of Habitat like that.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity St Charles, to donate money or materials, or to volunteer go to

For more information about the show you can email Marla Esser Cloos at, or Tony Pratte at Get in on the gab for why green matters to you, your family, your friends, and your community.

Links from podcast

Habitat St. Charles

Habitat St. Charles Facebook:

Volunteer Page/Form for Habitat St. Charles

ReStore website:

ReStore Facebook:

Every week on iTunes and The Everyday Green Home Podcast, get the gab with us as we share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters – to you, your family and friends and your community.

For more information about the show email us at:  Marla at or Tony at

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