CoreLogic employees voluntarily build houses with Habitat for Humanity

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Two organizations in Oxford are working together to achieve monumental tasks for the betterment of the community.

On June 24, CoreLogic employees teamed up with the Oxford-Lafayette Habitat for Humanity volunteers to install roof trusses on a house. CoreLogic also donated an undisclosed amount of money to pay for the roof.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps people in local communities build or improve a place residents can call home. Habitat for Humanity’s efforts help in a reality where affordable housing is a great issue.

“If you live here, it’s obvious everything’s gotten very expensive in the last couple of years,” said Joe Skinner, Habitat for Humanity’s construction supervisor and vice president. “The price of land makes it very difficult. I think the mayor is trying to work with builders but there is a big problem and it’s not something you can do overnight. We are trying to do our part to make it better.”

According to Skinner, it takes Habitat for Humanity about 16 months to complete a house. In between house builds, the non-profit works on refurbishing already existing homes.

Habitat for Humanity receives many requests for help from people with rotted-out kitchens, tilting houses or those in need of handicap ramps but have no funds to renovate their homes.

“We try to eliminate their sufferings on these cases,” Skinner told The Eagle. “I can’t build houses fast enough for them but in two or three months, restore somebody’s house, they can live in it comfortably,” he said. “So we’ve got to have our own little niche to help the community.”

The intended homeowners only pay for the construction materials with a zero-interest loan.

“Unfortunately, this year, things can get very expensive building, but we’re doing our best to keep prices down to get quality home,” said Skinner.

Habitat for Humanity recently began construction of a new house and with the help of CoreLogic, the non-profit was able to pay for and install roof trusses.

CoreLogic employee Joe Scott was one of many volunteers who worked on the roof trusses installation.

About three years ago, Scott volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to paint the interior of an existing home. This Scott returned for a much bigger, but just as rewarding, project.

“It was just a good day,” Scott said. “We had several volunteers that showed up and we were able to get quite a bit of work done.”

Roof truss installations are typically done with cranes, said Scott. However, CoreLogic and Habitat for Humanity had enough manpower to install the roof trusses themselves without the help of heavy machinery.

“You get enough people and those people volunteer, so that, that calls not being there. Without that number of people, it would take costly machines,” Scott said. “It was really just all hands on deck who would have otherwise taken either expensive machinery or several days from just two people or so.”

The majority of Habitat for Humanity volunteers are unskilled, according to Skinner. However, for projects that require a high level of skill like pouring concrete, Habitat for Humanity hires professionals.

“For various difficult jobs, we do hire people but we [volunteers] do all the manual labor,” Skinner continued. “We put in all the plumbing, and electrical wiring and construct the house. So it’s a lot of work.”

To Scott, Habitat for Humanity is a necessary resource for Oxford and Lafayette County residents who need help but cannot afford other, more costly options.

“There are individuals within the community that otherwise just wouldn’t have these repairs, or even complete new homes,” said Scott. “Whereas Habitat for Humanity organizes the funding, as well as the volunteer efforts, and are able to actually put that into individuals. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to have that benefit.”

Skinner said Habitat for Humanity always receives overwhelming support from many organizations in LOU.

“CoreLogic is the only one that comes in with a team by themselves but the honor college at the University of Mississippi, they are very aggressive at volunteering and that’s been very helpful for us,” he said. “They gave us a donation about five years ago. That was great and generous of them. And Magnolia Lighting every year, anytime we build a house, they provide all the lighting for us, which is also very generous. People do care.”