Habitat for Humanity New York City, a major advocate for affordable homeownership in New York City, raised over $655,000 at the organization’s major annual fundraising gala, the Habitat House Party, on Tuesday, October 17th at Capitale in the Lower East Side. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Henry Kuykendall, Delta Air Lines Senior Vice President of Airport Operations, Northeast, were each honored for their longtime support of Habitat NYC and the organization’s mission to support affordable homeownership throughout the five boroughs. The Habitat House Party will support the organization’s goal to double the number of families served over the next three years.
More than 300 supporters joined Habitat NYC in celebrating the accomplishments of the last year and looking ahead to new and exciting projects currently underway. Celebrity interviewer and host of Talk Stoop, Cat Greenleaf, moderated a conversation with honorees Melinda Katz and Henry Kuykendall. Habitat for Humanity’s first-ever volunteer, Clive Rainey, spoke candidly with Habitat homeowner Erneita Daley of Brooklyn who shared her unique, touching story of how being afforded the choice of homeownership has impacted her family and life.
“We call it a House Party because we are all part of the Habitat family, under one roof, working to make our city a safe, decent place where homeownership is accessible to lower-income New Yorkers,” said CEO of Habitat NYC, Karen Haycox. “To be successful in our mission to build and preserve affordable homeownership opportunities, Habitat NYC must be nimble and innovative in our approach. It is only with the support of our dedicated partners, donors, and volunteers that we are able to rise to the occasion, and empower hard-working New Yorkers to live, stay, and thrive in their communities throughout the five boroughs.”
The work of Habitat NYC was further brought to life through a virtual reality tour of a Habitat home in Queens. The technology allowed attendees to virtually witness the original dilapidated home and watch volunteers take part in the transformative rehabilitation. The video, which ended at the beautifully finished home, was narrated by the current Habitat homeowner and occupant.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was honored for her ongoing commitment to Habitat NYC. Katz and her predecessor, Helen Marshall, have contributed $1.2 million to the Queens Phase Two project, rehabilitating 20 single-family homes throughout Queens. Just a few weeks ago, Katz and 15 members of her staff volunteered at a Queens Phase Two home, laying hardwood floor.
The evening also honored Henry Kuykendall, Delta Air Lines Senior Vice President of Airport Operations, Northeast, representing Delta’s 10 years of support and partnership and $1 million in giving to Habitat NYC. Most recently, Delta deployed over 200 volunteers to a three-bedroom home in St. Albans, Queens, which marked the 247th home built by Delta in the world.
The evening’s fundraising activities included a live auction to bid on several key pieces that make up a home. Attendees symbolically purchased the foundation, structure, walls, windows, doors, and roof of a Habitat home. Habitat NYC has more units in development and pre-development than ever before, and all funds raised in the auction will go towards the real materials needed to complete current and future projects.
The evening was made possible by multiple sponsors, which included Delta Air Lines; TradeWeb; Amalgamated Bank; Doug and Claudia Morse; Fried Frank; Martha Parrish; John Isaacs, Vimla Black Gupta; Green Oak Real Estate; Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Carole Pittleman; Marti Speranza; Kinetic World Wide; Time Out New York; Nixon Peabody; Consolidated Edison; Oz Real Estate; M&T Bank; Brookfield; Goldstein Hall; Collegiate Churches of New York; Bright Bazaar Blog; Semper Capital Management, LP; Fidelity; MEGA Contracting Group; Peter Murray; Gil-Bar Industries; Marc Heinrich; Center for NYC Neighborhoods; Community Preservation Corporation; and HSC Management Corporation; Christine McGuinness; ADE Systems and OCV Architects.
The Habitat House Party is instrumental in helping Habitat NYC continue its mission of building and preserving affordable homes for ownership throughout the five boroughs. Habitat NYC is grateful to the dedication of the Host Committee, including Committee Co-Chairs Anthony Montalto and Martha Parrish and Host Committee Members Emily Bergl, Denise Courter, Vimla Black Gupta, John Isaacs, Blair A. Lichter, Claudia Morse, Edwin Stone, and Jaclyn Tacoronte.