Construction delayed on Habitat for Humanity home in NJ after lumber stolen

A home in New Jersey will be a new start for a mother and her four children - roots they have never had before.

Video Transcript

- Now to a story of thieves ruining a New Jersey family's second chance to get on the feet. They were about to move into a building set aside for them by the Habitat for Humanity, but then the thieves got to the site first and now the family will have to wait again before they can move in. New Jersey reporter Toni Yates has the story from Montgomery.

TONI YATES: This Montgomery, New Jersey home will be a new start for a mother and her four children, roots they have never had before.

MEG HELMS: They've worked so hard over the years. She had some setbacks and, by the grace of God, years ago, she saw a note that said Habitat for Humanity was building, she put in her name, and went through the very arduous process.

TONI YATES: The house was being built, the opportunity created by the Raritan Valley Habitat for humanity, the build suffered a major setback, though, when a delivery of lumber was stolen from the lot.

DAVID POLOMSKI: A bundle of two-by-fours, 158 8-foot two-by-fours, and the value currently, because the prices fluctuate every week now, it's around $1,800 to $1,850 for a replacement cost.

MEG HELMS: You know, Toni, it's unbelievably heartbreaking because the whole purpose of our organization is to help others.

TONI YATES: Everybody on projects like this volunteers. The family that's going to live here has to put in at least 500 hours of sweat equity. The architects donate all of their services. So when a theft like this happens, it's felt across the entire build.

MEG HELMS: There was quite a delay for a poor family who's waiting to move into their home from an apartment. And it's really very heartbreaking.

TONI YATES: While police are investigating, Raritan Valley Habitat is trying to figure out how to replace the lumber on its tight cash flow. RVHabitat.org is their website where they accept donations and volunteers to help with the project as COVID concerns meant that many of their senior volunteers had to step back, that on top of the theft tighten the clock in trying to get the home ready for the family by summer.