In September, Colorado Governor Jared Polis toured an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) constructed by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver in partnership with Denver Housing
Giving back to the community is a long-held family legacy for Justin Levy. Justin’s grandfather and great aunt, Jack and Hannah Levy, established the Raphael Levy Memorial Foundation in the 1950s with money generated from their family business.
“They passed on to our family the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam,” shares Justin, “which is a desire to repair and improve the world.”
Today, the Raphael Levy Memorial Foundation lives out that value by supporting organizations that give back to the Denver community through environmental stewardship, arts and culture, health and welfare, education and more. In the last few years, in light of Denver’s affordability challenges, housing also topped their list of priorities and lead them to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.
“It was important to us that Habitat is making an impact on the need for more affordable housing, which is one of the most pressing issues in Denver,” Levy said.
Upon learning more about Habitat Metro Denver’s Aria Homes development in 2022, and seeing first-hand the community collaboration that goes into the construction of Habitat homes, the foundation invested in the Aria project, and helped families find stability through affordable homeownership.
“Habitat provides a real solution for a family. It’s a way for our teachers and other people in the community to buy homes and build that equity. That’s wealth-building that will ultimately benefit our whole community,” Justin said.
Because the foundation focuses its giving on community betterment, it also struck Justin and his fellow foundation members that housing impacts so many other success factors for families. Once a family’s housing situation stabilizes, they experience improved mental and physical health, improved educational outcomes for their children, and better savings and wealth-building.
Paying an affordable mortgage allows families to move from survival mode to saving, planning and dreaming about the future.
Plus, Justin is glad to support families who are playing essential roles in the community.
“I feel a lot of hope that our contributions are giving opportunities to others,” he said. “And I’m grateful for the chance to help make that possible. The entire board is honored to help the community however we can.”