Habitat for Humanity in Billings is feeling the effects of the nation’s lumber shortage, through rising prices for building materials.

Jim Woolyhand, executive director of the organization, said on Monday that it was unsustainable to be able to build homes at the current inflated material costs.

“Thirty-six thousand dollars is what we budgeted for. Exactly one year ago, when we approved house number 87, that bundle of lumber was only $ 12,500 with lumber, ”said Woolyhand.

Chaquille Cozart / Q2 News

Habitat for Humanity

Woolyhand said these cost increases don’t stop with lumber. He adds that drywall, water heaters and almost all the necessary materials that go into a home cost the organization more money.

Tim Hayes, construction superintendent for the organization, said the current construction prices were unlike anything he had ever seen.

“Eighteen to 20 years ago, I think the cost of OSB (oriented strand board) went from $ 8 a sheet to $ 25 a sheet. Now it’s gone to $ 65 a sheet. I’ve never seen anything like it, ”said Hayes.

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Habitat for Humanity

Hayes said the only thing people in the community can do to help is donate.

“It just costs us more to build them and you have to factor that into their mortgage (home buying program participants),” Hayes said.

To help offset the cost, Woolyhand said last year’s performance hall fundraiser was brought back.

The same people who build houses, including volunteers, build a children’s playhouse in the form of a train, equipped with a slide, stairs, trap doors, and controls for children to pretend. To drive.

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Habitat for Humanity

To pay for the materials used to build the playhouse, Holiday Station stores and other community donors contributed $ 4,000 to the project.

The performance hall will be finished Thursday. Tickets will be on sale for the months of June and July until the draw on August 7 at the organization’s Family Fun Day event.

While the playhouse alone will not cover the costs of each house to be built for the winter and fall months, individuals participating in the Home Buyers Program through Habitat for Humanity said they were determined and willing to wait for their future home.

“I am very proud to be here with Habitat and I know my family wants to help build the house. There are memories you can have as you sit in your house and think I really did it myself, ”said Onna Brady, a future home buyer.

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Chaquille Cozart / Q2 News

Habitat for Humanity

To find out how to participate in the raffle, visit the website Habitat for Humanity website.