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Obtain a 'Beer Passport' to help build affordable homes in York County

Habitat for Humanity York County is bringing back its Hops for Habitat program to help raise $60K to complete a home project in Kennebunkport.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — It's been a busier year than normal for the team with Habitat for Humanity York County. The organization and its volunteers have been working to build two homes right next door in Kennebunkport.

"For most of our 37-year-history, we were doing one home a year or one home every other year. And recognizing that the need is increasing, we're working to maintain a two-home-a-year average," Amy Nucci, executive director of Habitat for Humanity York County, said. 

Nucci said the demand for homes built by Habitat for Humanity York County is extremely high.

"When we held the application cycle for this property, we had more households apply to us that were in more insecure situations, where maybe it was a seasonal rental and not knowing where they'd go next, or sort of a temporary situation or a hotel than we've really ever seen before in our applicant cycles," Nucci said.

According to Habitat for Humanity York County Development Officer James Connally, it's becoming more expensive to build homes as inflation surges. Connally said this year, they've seen a roughly 45 to 50 percent increase in construction costs. 

Connally added the organization needed to raise $306,000 to build both homes. Now, they're just $60,000 away from reaching their goal, and they hope craft beer lovers can help them reach it.

"This is a great opportunity to not just give to an organization that gives back to your community, but also explore your local community as well," Connally said.

This fall, the organization is bringing back its Hops for Habitat program. The organization partnered with Portside Real Estate Group and 11 different craft breweries.

"Maine has such an incredible craft beer scene, it only seemed like a natural fit," Nucci said. 

For $50, craft beer lovers can purchase a "Beer Passport," which will give you access to a free draft beer at each of the participating breweries.

"Something that could seem so small has such a big impact. Especially after the couple [of] years we've had, I think it's important to give back as much as we can," Marisa Lane, general manager of Blaze Brewing Company in Biddeford, said.

"Beer Passports" are available for purchase through September and can be used through October. If you visit all 11 breweries that are taking part, you'll be in the running for a "grand prize."

All of the money raised will go toward supporting Habitat for Humanity York County's affordable housing efforts.

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