NEWS: DTE Energy Foundation awards $110,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Michigan to fund critical home repairs

Two men assemble a metal wheelchair ramp leading into a green house with red trim

Posted February 15, 2021

Repairs will provide protection, comfort for families in rural west and northern Michigan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lansing, MI – Habitat for Humanity of Michigan (HFHM) announced today it received $110,000 in funding from the DTE Energy Foundation to support HFHM’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Safe at Home Program. This funding is being used to make critical home repairs for people in west and northern Michigan, protecting them from Michigan’s harsh elements and seasonal weather patterns. All funds will be dedicated to supporting Michiganders in rural locales and will promote safety and well-being throughout the winter and beyond.

“The coronavirus pandemic has a disproportionate effect on low-income households,” says Thom Phillips, sustainable housing director, HFHM. “High job-loss rates along with home schooling and social distancing mandates compel families to spend more time inside their homes. Poor conditions in low-income housing are often associated with illnesses and injuries, while the high cost burden of housing makes repairs unaffordable. With the DTE Foundation’s support, many low-income Michigan families will receive health and safety repairs and upgrades at costs they can afford.”

Previous DTE Foundation funding awarded to HFHM sponsored subject matter expert and leadership training, coaching, and mentorship opportunities statewide. Habitat sustainable housing leaders have received accolades from Habitat for Humanity International, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards, among other entities. HFHM leaders also serve as subject matter experts for many other housing organizations.

“At the DTE Energy Foundation, we know safe, secure homes are the pillars of stable communities, and as many Michiganders struggle to make ends meet in the wake of the pandemic, critical repairs that promote safety and well-being for families are simply not affordable for many,” said Matt Paul, president, DTE Gas. “We’re humbled and grateful to continue our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, and through our $110,000 commitment to funding critical home repairs for our neighbors in rural Michigan, to help ensure homes are safe and comfortable places to live, work and learn throughout the winter and the duration of the pandemic.”

This is the eighth year the DTE Foundation has partnered with HFHM. In addition to financial support from the DTE Foundation, DTE Energy volunteers spent 1,041 hours volunteering with HFHM affiliates in 2019 alone.   

“The DTE Foundation has helped us for many years stay at the forefront of sustainable building, prioritizing health, safety, and energy efficiency,” says Sandy Pearson, president and CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. “We now have a heightened awareness of just how important having stable housing can be, and the negative impacts that are felt when your job, your health, and your housing are all in jeopardy. This grant opportunity will make sure that families most deeply impacted by the pandemic have safe, secure, healthy homes in which to shelter in place.” 

The grant is expected to leverage and serve 30-40 rural households with health and safety repairs through June 30, 2021.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, go to www.habitatmichigan.org. For more information about DTE Foundation, go to www.DTEFoundation.com.

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About Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

Habitat for Humanity of Michigan is the state support organization for Michigan’s more than 50 Habitat for Humanity affiliates and ReStores which serve nearly every county in the state. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. For more information, visit www.habitatmichigan.org.

About the DTE Foundation 

The DTE Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2019, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $18 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company's service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in communities across Michigan in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Visit DTEFoundation.com to learn more.