Students in front of the completed Habitat Sarasota home.

A partnership between Habitat Sarasota, Suncoast Technical College (STC), and the Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) is tackling two problems: the lack of affordable housing and the growing shortage of skilled workforce in the home construction industry. 

In August 2018, Habitat Sarasota formed a partnership with STC to provide their industrial technologies students real-world experience working on an active construction site. Habitat Sarasota formed the partnership last year after receiving funds from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) to fund construction costs for affordable homes in Sarasota.

Habitat Sarasota makes the single-family home exclusively available to students in STC’s plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems and construction technologies programs five days a week. Habitat Sarasota purchases the land, provides the permitted buildable lot, the construction materials, tools and site supervision for the project. STC provides the classroom curriculum, teacher support for each trade, and transportation for the students. 

Seventy students from STC worked on the home. All of the work was installed according to code and passed county inspections.

A Habitat Sarasota homebuyer closed on the home and has an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Being in a permanent, stable home is reducing day-to-day barriers for the homebuyer’s child, who has a degenerative medical condition that could result in vision loss. 

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