Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod’s mission to build affordable homes for local families with a critical housing need could not have been accomplished without the support of individuals, businesses, congregations, schools and civic groups.
One of those steadfast business partners over the years has been Shepley Wood Products.
The Hyannis-based company has been supplying a wide range of materials and services to building professionals for 40 years. Among its array of products are windows, doors, flooring, decking, moulding, millwork, roofing, siding and framing lumber.
The nature of Shepley’s business, as well as its charitable giving mission, is a perfect fit with Habitat’s goals to provide affordable housing on the Cape, says its president, Tony Shepley.
“We first learned about Habitat over a decade ago at an event called a Builders Breakfast,” he recalls. “We were invited to hear about their mission and we were sold on it that very day! We have always believed that quality, affordable housing should be available to everyone. Partnering with Habitat just makes sense. We have the expertise and the relationships to help Habitat achieve their mission.”
The need for affordable, local housing is great here because housing prices are 10 percent higher on Cape Cod than elsewhere in Massachusetts, and wages are 35 percent lower, according to Vicki Goldsmith, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, which was established in 1989 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.
Habitat depends on forging good relationships with businesses to make their projects financially feasible. Shepley dedicates a sales team to Habitat, which works with the supply partners.
“Shepley contributes with some direct donations and discounts to our homes, but also very significantly, they work very assertively with their suppliers to garner donations for each of the ‘BLITZ builds,’” notes Goldsmith. (BLITZ is the name given to a house built in one week.)
But the company goes beyond supplying lumber and other materials in supporting Habitat.
“We’ve had crews swinging hammers and painting and also cooking up hamburgers at the job site,” says Shepley.
Recently, Shepley reached out to thank the volunteers who make Habitat’s efforts possible by delivering picnic tables and Shepley T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to a Habitat build in Truro.
“The staff and volunteers at Habitat work so hard to build these beautiful homes, we try to go the extra mile to make their job sites as comfortable as possible,” says Shepley.
Goldsmith also appreciates Shepley’s strong financial support over the years for events including Habitat’s annual meeting and its Hook for Homes fishing derby, and behind the scenes’ donations such as storage, transporting materials donated by others, donating to Habitat’s ReStore, participating in events or lending Tony Shepley’s support.
Since its inception in 1989, Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod has constructed 127 affordable homes, at least one in every one of the 15 towns of the Cape, and Shepley Wood Products has been proud to have been involved in every project.
One of the most challenging and exciting projects is the BLITZ build sponsored by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. This involves building a house in one week, rather than several months. Last year, hundreds of building professionals turned out to construct a home on Paul Hush Way in Brewster.
“Think about it: these are building professionals that are typically competing with each other, that come together to build an entire house from start to finish in one week!” says Shepley. “It’s really something to witness and we’re so happy to be a part of it. We work with Andersen to provide the windows for these projects and applaud our Andersen rep, Brian Harding, for harkening back to his framing days to help raise these homes in just seven days.”
“It’s always fun to work side by side with a future homeowner, building the house that will become their home,” Shepley muses. “We’re impressed with the work Habitat has done on the Cape, surpassing 100 homes. The homes are well-built and energy efficient so utility and maintenance costs remain low.
Affordable housing is essential to a healthy and vibrant community and Habitat is committed to providing opportunities for young people and families to stay and thrive on Cape Cod. We see our partnership with Habitat lasting for a very long time. We look forward to celebrating their 200th home alongside them.”