CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Baird & Warner, Illinois’ largest family-owned independent real estate services company, today announced its Good Will Works philanthropic arm will donate $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity Chicago over three years, marking the largest corporate donation in the not-for-profit’s history. The funds will support all Habitat Chicago programming and initiatives across Chicagoland, including affordable home construction and first-time homebuyer education classes.
“Whether participating in new home builds or volunteering time to educate first-time homebuyers, Baird & Warner agents and employees have long had an affinity for the mission of Habitat for Humanity Chicago, as it aligns with our goal to eliminate housing barriers and extend homeownership opportunities to all,” said Steve Baird, president and CEO of Baird & Warner. “With Habitat, we decided to take our dedication to the cause further and continue our 167-year legacy of doing the right thing and make an even greater impact across Chicagoland.”
Under the new partnership, the $500,000 will support the following Habitat for Humanity Chicago programs through 2024:
Public Homebuyer University – People enrolled in this multi-class program learn about the process of becoming a homeowner, including gaining a greater understanding from experts well-versed in finance and real estate about building credit, managing debt and establishing long-term savings. By the end of the program, attendees will have access to the tools and confidence they need to become a homeowner on a timeline that works for them. Baird & Warner’s sponsorship will make it possible for 25 additional local families to prepare for homeownership.
Affordable Homeownership – Habitat for Humanity Chicago is known for building new affordable, energy-efficient single-family homes with quality materials. Families who participate in the affordable homeownership program can purchase homes with an affordable mortgage where the total monthly mortgage payment, homeowner insurance and property taxes combined are no more than 30% of a household’s monthly income.
Neighborhood Grants Initiative – This small-grants program awards direct funding to resident-led projects in West Pullman and Greater Grand Crossing, such as community gardens and a back-to-school basketball tournament. With Baird & Warner’s contribution over the next three years, approximately 100 projects will be completed, engaging nearly 10,000 residents.
Race and Housing Series – Habitat Chicago is planning to launch a new educational series, encompassing blog posts, videos and interviews, to better educate Chicagoans on the interconnectedness of homeownership and racial equity.
“We are tremendously grateful to Baird & Warner’s generosity and for this incredible gift,” said Jennifer Parks, executive director of Habitat Chicago. “This investment in our work will have a multiplier effect on Habitat Chicago’s efforts to build equitable and healthy neighborhoods alongside residents. It will also make affordable homeownership a reality for more families working hard to create generational prosperity.”
Since 2002, Good Will Works has donated over $3 million to Chicagoland not-for-profits focused on housing-related causes. Through company-wide volunteer opportunities, office initiatives and a unique Volunteer Time Off program, Baird & Warner agents, loan officers and staff have volunteered thousands of hours of their time to organizations making a difference in communities.
“As a Habitat for Humanity Chicago board member and longtime volunteer, I’m proud to work for a company like Baird & Warner that puts philanthropy into action,” said Jerome Harper, assistant manager of Baird & Warner’s South Loop office. “Baird & Warner is committing resources, time and talent to an organization we treasure that has firmly established programs in place so the funding will go a long way to help plan for immediate and future needs.”
For more information about how Baird & Warner gives back through its Good Will Works charitable arm, visit bairdwarner.com/what-we-believe, and watch the video about the new Habitat for Humanity Chicago partnership here.