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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County Launches Its First Private Equity Community Build

Families and individuals needing safe and affordable housing partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a residence.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County is partnering with five private equity firms and several financial, insurance, and legal companies to launch its first-ever Private Equity Community Build. The collaboration aims to raise more than $300,000 to construct affordable housing in Lake Worth Beach. The co-chairpersons for the project are Russell Kreutter of Hidden Harbor Capital Partners and Kevin Elwell, M&A Tax Director at BDO and Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County. The Private Equity Community Build is scheduled for January 26th, 2024, with more than 120 members of the Private Equity community volunteering for two new construction initiatives and three neighborhood engagement and repair initiatives in Lake Worth Beach.

“Palm Beach County has become a home for the private equity ecosystem and it is truly heartwarming to see their passion for giving back to the community,” Julia Murphy, Chief Advancement Officer for Habitat for Humanity of Great Palm Beach County. The excitement level from all the participants has been truly inspiring and we know the day of the build will be hugely impactful for so many in Lake Worth Beach. Special thanks go to Russell for not only the idea but also for introducing us to the world of private equity as we envision this partnership growing bigger each year.”

Russell Kreutter and Kevin Elwell initiated the community build project. Kreutte, a passionate advocate for affordable housing and a regular Habitat volunteer has worked with Habitat affiliates in Southeast Asia, Florida, and various other parts of the U.S. His ultimate objective is to unite the private equity community to create home equity for families in need that can last for generations. Meanwhile, Elwell, who has been a part of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County since 2016, serves as the organization’s board chair.

“I have loved volunteering with Habitat as an individual volunteer and felt we could make a broader impact in the community by connecting the private equity ecosystem to Habitat for Humanity’s mission and creating a highly impactful and rewarding build for all involved,” Kreutter says. “We want this first event to be a blueprint for this to happen annually in Palm Beach County as well as other markets across the country.”

The participating private equity firms list comprises AE Industrial Partners, Comvest Partners, Hidden Harbor Capital Partners, Norwest Mezzanine Partners, and Sun Capital Partners. Along with them, multiple other firms, such as Akerman, BDO, Ernst & Young, Kirkland & Ellis, Lockton, McDermott, Will & Emery, and PwC, are also participating in the event.

“It is an honor to lead this incredible organization at such a pivotal time,” Elwell says. “By bringing together world-class members of the private equity ecosystem, we are building hope and community for so many families. Seeing these business leaders, some of whom recently relocated here, giving back to our community continuing to make Palm Beach County the premier location to live, work and play for generations to come.”

The participants will be working on two new home construction projects and three neighborhood engagement projects, including exterior painting and landscaping. One of the houses is intended for Sharrell Murphy, a working mother of three adult children. Sharrell is excited to learn more about homeownership through Habitat’s Homeowner workshops and to have a permanent residence that her grandchildren can enjoy.

“Being a homeowner is a dream come true. I look forward to building memories and meeting milestones with my family in our future home,” Murphy says.

To learn more, visit HabitatGreaterPBC.org or email Kristen Bardin, Director of Advancement, at [email protected]

Photo caption: Private Equity Community Build Co-Chairs: (L) Russell Kreutter, Partner, Hidden Harbor Capital Partners; (R) Kevin Elwell, M&A Tax Director, BDO and Board Chair, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County

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