Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

In late 2011 and early 2012 EMH worked with Toni Weiss, Senior Professor of Practice of Tulane University’s Economics Department, to develop an economic impact study on the effects of Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) on the Greater New Orleans Area in the six years following Hurricane Katrina. Faced with the task of rebuilding a city devastated by an unprecedented natural disaster, Habitat played a central role in the physical revitalization of New Orleans from 2006-2011. EMH, in collaboration with Toni Weiss, sought to quantify these economic effects that the organization had on the city. 

EMH identified that there were four drivers of economic activity within Habitat Humanity:

  1. Home construction
  2. National and international volunteers
  3. Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets
  4. General Habitat operations


By conducting an economic impact study EMH found the numbers on three factors that were directly affected by the above listed drivers of economic activity:

  1. The total number of jobs created by Habitat’s activities
  2. The total economic impact (measured in dollars) and tax revenue collected
  3. The return on investment (ROI) from donations made to Habitat (and what four factors allowed this ROI to steadily increase)


The output of this work demonstrated the program’s efficacy in catalyzing economic development to philanthropists, foundations, public partners, and individual donors.