July 18, 2019
Boston Building Resources Reuse Center Raising $1.1M

August 2, 2018 — The Boston Building Resources Reuse Center, a nonprofit affiliate of Boston Building Resources that helps people afford materials they need to keep their homes in good repair by diverting good materials away from becoming waste, this week announced it has launched a $1.1 million capital campaign to enlarge and enhance its operational center in the city's Mission Hill neighborhood.

The Campaign for the Next Generation Reuse Center will fund renovations that include a larger, more efficient receiving area to process more donated materials; an addition to the front of the building facing the parking lot; increased insulation for energy efficiency; an HVAC system for customer comfort; improvements to the checkout, displays, and lighting; better traffic flow by moving all incoming donations to the rear of the building; and a solar array to generate electricity.

“These renovations will allow the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources to continue to grow,” said Matthew St. Onge, president and executive director of Boston Building Resources. “We have a great location here in Mission Hill, but the size of our land is limited, so the best way to increase our impact is to become more efficient so we can accomplish more within the space we have.”

The campaign aims to raise $835,350 for construction, and has a stretch goal of $1,125,350 to include the solar array as well as an endowment to fund building maintenance. Since the campaign began in June 2017 approximately $650,000 has been raised from grants, gifts, and pledges.

A spokesperson said the organization is looking to reach its construction goal by Sept. 30.

The new campaign is the fourth, and largest, for the Boston Building Resources Reuse Center since it was established in 1993. A campaign in 2004-2005 raised $150,000 to fund an expansion. Two other fundraising campaigns funded the purchase of a van and new information technology.

The organization said a primary driver for the new campaign are escalating housing costs, which puts home ownership increasingly out of reach for lower- and middle-income residents. In addition, those who have bought a home face rising taxes, insurance, and utility costs, leaving less for necessary repairs and maintenance.

The Reuse Center accepts donations of good-quality used and surplus building materials and sells them at low prices, with extra discounts for low- and moderate-income customers and nonprofit organizations.

In 2017, the Reuse Center served 2,094 income-qualified homeowners and nonprofits, diverting materials valued at more than $2.1 million from disposal in landfills. It also conducted 30 home improvement workshops that enable homeowners to make repairs themselves or understand how their home’s systems work and work more knowledgeably with contractors.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, the Boston Building Resources Reuse Center reported $1.28 million in revenue, of which $700,000 million came from contributions and grants, and $1.26 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

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