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Shack-A-Thon is back on this spring Aggies!

Posted at 7:00 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 20:00:21-04

BRYAN, TEXAS — Throughout the pandemic, we've seen many industries reveal an influx in pricing, including home building and the price of lumber.

So how do those price increases impact organizations whose mission is to help bring access to affordable housing in our community?

Committed to transforming the Bryan College Station community into a place where everyone can afford a decent place to live, BCS Habitat for Humanity says lumber prices are affecting their overall costs and without support from the community, they can't really accomplish what they're known for.

Director of Construction for Bryan College Station Habitat for Humanity says, during a normal year, without events like massive snowstorms or a pandemic, general rises in lumber are seen during April through November.

"A sheet of OSB right now... is regularly 11-13 dollars... which is a 4x8 sheet of standard plywood. Right now, we are paying $33," Aaron Shipp, Director of Construction for BCS Habitat for Humanity said.

Shipp says they try to minimize as much of the cost as possible for their families and building hasn't stopped.

"For us... we normalize our costs. For low-income families, it affects us more. Our dollar doesn't go near as far as what it used to. I have to make the choices on... what do we need to sacrifice to get people into a safe decent and affordable home... where can I stop certain activities to where well if we don't have paint donated anymore... I have to purchase paint... so how can we maximize paint usage?" Shipp said.

One signature event coming up which helps assist BCS Habitat for Humanity with providing funding is Aggie Habitat's Shack-a-Thon, one of their biggest spring semester fundraising events.

"It's mostly to bring awareness to substandard living conditions that some people unfortunately suffer. The (student) organizations pay a fee to have their shacks and that money gets donated to BCS habitat," Diego Reyes, Director of Public Relations for Aggie Habitat said.

Not only donating money to Habitat for Humanity but also raising awareness of the living conditions some live with.

"As far back as I know, it has been going on at least since 2003. It's almost going to be 20 years of Shack-A-Thon. Last year was the first time that we didn't have it since it started, so it's good to bring it back," Reyes added.

Even though Shack-A-Thon doesn't necessarily assist with the physical labor that comes along with building the home, every penny the event brings in is critical.

"Any amount of help that we can get in any capacity from a student-led organization, such as Aggie Habitat, bringing awareness on campus, to a major vendor such as LP corp, anywhere in that help factor is what I try and maximize to offset the rising costs in lumber, Shipp said.

In relation to the way lumber is affecting their overall price point; Shipp estimates the last house they built was 17% over budget, just in the realm of lumber.

This year's Shack-A-Thon is scheduled to happen on campus April 12-15.