Author: Machaj, Julia

Cardboard City 2020

Written by Celeste Cuellar 



Our yearly fall fundraiser, Cardboard City was a magnificent success! Cardboard City is an annual fundraising event that sheds light on substandard housing and homelessness. Participants raise money prior to the event. Typically, on the night of, teams spend the night constructing a home out of cardboard while participating in games, activities, and discussions about homelessness. This year with the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments needed to be made to prioritize each individual’s safety and health. Cardboard City over Zoom was no less than a grand event thanks on a large part to our fundraiser coordinator, Audra Logan. While the process of planning and making sure the night ran smoothly was a bit stressful according to Audra, she comments that, “Our E-Board and members really stepped up to the plate and worked really hard fundraising! Habitat never fails to impress me with their witty humor of dad jokes and amazing ability to help others!” 


Building Cardboard homes over Zoom and discussing the relevance of homelessness with our members was enlightening. Thousands of people often have to spend the night outside with nothing but cardboard and little shelter. COVID-19 has impacted housing all over the country, just as it has affected everything else. “Very little is known about how they are faring in part because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — the main federal agency overseeing homeless programs — has not required its national network of providers to gather information on infections or deaths.” This is why organizations like Habitat are still building today.


Raising money for our affiliate, we’re able to help curb this problem by having all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut. The evening consisted of playing our collaborate Cardboard City playlist, building cardboard homes, and sharing paper plates awards at the finale! Congratulations to our paper plates winners, Raina for winning most creative house, Haley and Yasmin for winning most enthusiastic, Nicole for winning most resourceful, Emily and Ashley for winning most detailed, Sarah for winning most delicious, and lastly, Kylar and Angelina for winning most resourceful! In total, Habitat raised over $700 this year for our affiliate, and we couldn’t have done it without every one’s hard work and dedication! Thank you to all our members, donors, and supporters for another year of an excellent Cardboard City! 


Beyond Housing

Habitat for Humanity: Beyond Providing Housing 

Researched by Steve Tiberio 


Not only does Habitat for Humanity provide housing to those in need, the organization goes beyond that by providing financial literacy classes and taking action with advocacy


Financial Literacy

  • Habitat offers financial education as part of the homeowner process. 
  • Gaining a more in depth understanding and knowledge of the finances that are involved in being a homeowner is important and crucial for long-term success. 
  • The classes have even helped families understand their own finances and even start their own personal businesses!


  • Habitat advocates for mortgage regulations, tax credits, land access, and federal housing programs. 
  • They routinely are demanding policies that lead to affordable housing for all and encourage others to do so as well. 
  • Habitat on the Hill: is an annual legislative conference where habitat members and volunteers visit the U.S. Capital. 
    • They advocate for housing affordability and other related issues with legislators. 
  • Linked here are petitions that Habitat is taking on action on. Visit it to let lawmakers know how important affordable housing is! 

Disaster Response

Disaster Response 

Researched by: Emily Zarrilli 


Every year natural disasters, war, and civil unrest displace millions of people from their homes. 


Habitat’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Program

  • Contains volunteers and donors
  • Offers shelter assistance, education, training, and partnerships to those affected
  • Provides preventative support and information for disaster-prone areas
  • Year round preparation to ensure readiness when disasters strike


Hurricane Katrina Response

Operation Home Delivery → house frames built around the U.S. and shipped to the Gulf for recovery efforts

  • Helped low income and hurricane struck people receive affordable housing

Houses built for specific families → the families needed to put in certain efforts to help rebuild their home 

  • Mortgage was cycled back into community to build more Habitat homes

Every family needs help to rebuild after an unprecedented disaster strikes. If you’re able, donate here


7 Findings of COVID-19’s Impact on Housing

7 Findings of Covid-19’s Impact on Housing
Researched By: Rachel Lamore

  1. Nearly 1/3 of people in the United States can’t afford their needs.
  2. Covid-19 isn’t affecting everyone equally. In June 2020, Black Americans posted the highest unemployment rate of 15.4%, compared to 14.5% for Latinx, 13.8% for Asians and 10.1% for whites.
  3. Families are struggling to make rent both fully and on time.
  4. The number of borrowers who have deferred payments on their home loans have climbed.
  5. Mortgage lenders continue to tighten their standards.
  6. Builders of multifamily homes report construction delays.
  7. The future is uncertain.  Follow this link to join Habitat in bringing this to the attention of Congress members. Low-income families and organizations that work hard to serve them need to be prioritized during this pandemic.

Sweat Equity

Habitat is a hand up, not a hand out

To qualify for a Habitat Home, one must:

  • demonstrate a need for safe and affordable housing
  • agree to participate in sweat equity
  • be able and willing to pay an affordable mortgage

But wait, I thought Habitat was a non-profit. Where do the mortgage payments go?

Good question! The mortgage payments get cycled into the community to build Habitat Homes! This will something like materials or equipment that go into building the next home!

What is sweat equity?

sweat equity (noun): the contribution to a project or enterprise in the form of effort and toil. Sweat equity is the ownership interest, or increase in value, that is created as a direct result of hard work by the owner(s). It is the preferred mode of building equity for cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures, since they may be unable to contribute much financial capital to their enterprise.

What does sweat equity look like?

  • construction on their homes or the homes of others
  • cleaning a worksite
  • working at a ReStore
  • financial education classes

Habitat homeowners are required to put in a certain number of hours of sweat equity on their house or another house, as well as attend financial education classes to help them sustain their lifestyle. This idea is the foundation of how Habitat works! Cool, huh?

“What the poor need is not charity but capital, not case workers but co-workers.”

– Clarence Jordan, founder of Koinonai Farm, where Habitat for Humanity began

Our Virtual Semester

Hey everyone! Welcome and welcome back! As we all know, COVID-19 had changed University policies and safety guidelines for the semester. Here at UConn Habitat, we want all of our amazing members to stay healthy and safe as well.

To accommodate, we are re-launching our website and will be on all of our social media to stay connected! On our home page, you will notice two hyperlinks: one to sign up for our email list, and one to submit photos of any activities you have been a part of with us! We are still getting the hang of all the resources available through this website so don’t be surprised if it looks different next time you log on!

If you have any questions about how this semester will look, or any ideas we could implement this year, feel free to email them to

Sincerely, your E-Board!

COVID Announcement

As we begin another school year, we will be facing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Habitat for Humanity is a volunteer organization that works mainly on home build projects, as well as other services to fundraise for our Eastern CT affiliate.

We will be following both, the University of Connecticut’s COVID-19 guidelines, as well as those set forth by Habitat for Humanity. We will work within our limitations for fundraise for our Habitat affiliate and to raise awareness about homelessness and housing deficiencies across the world.

Follow us on our socials and subscribe to our emails for more updates as the semester goes on!

Welcome to UConn Habitat for Humanity!

Our student-run organization works with Eastern Connecticut Habitat for Humanity to educate our community on homelessness and housing deficiencies, as well as volunteering to build with them! We fundraise year-long so that we can donate to the Eastern Connecticut Habitat affiliate at the end of each school year.

Some small fundraisers we have done in the past include Krispy Kreme fundraisers, as well as a Fall Fest, and canning events. We also have two annual fundraisers that raise a large sum for our affiliate! Check out our Cardboard City page as well as our Jail N Bail page.

Habitat for Humanity seeks to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Here at UConn, we do the same. While fundraising for Eastern CT Habitat for Humanity, we strive to educate the student body about homelessness and housing deficiencies in our modern world. Together, we volunteer around the state to make a positive impact in the lives of those in need. Join Habitat today to be part of the difference!


To join our Habitat GroupMe, please click the link below!