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Member Spotlight: Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

In upcoming issues of Housing Matters we’ll be showcasing stories from our members that highlight the impact of funding programs for affordable housing. As you know, many of these programs have been eliminated in President Trump’s proposed budget. This week, we highlight Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Hudson Hills Subdivision.

In October of 2016, the last of 24 homeowners moved into her new affordable, Green Built NC and SystemVision certified home in Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Hudson Hills subdivision. This development consists of attractive Arts & Crafts style 2-4 bedroom houses, built with help from volunteer labor, including the homeowners. Funding for the development came from a combination of returning mortgages from Habitat homeowners, private donations and public funds, including $212,000 in HOME support. Each homebuyer completed 50 hours of homebuyer education before closing on their new house, including financial literacy, home maintenance, long-term financial planning and more. These classes were supported in part by CDBG Housing Services funding.

The 24 households include workers from a variety of sectors, including education, healthcare, and retail services. Some were moving out of dangerous living situations, where stray bullets flew through the walls of their children’s bedroom and drug dealers hung out on the street. Others were cost-burdened by the high housing costs and low wages plaguing Asheville and were seeking financial relief and stability. Now living in their new, affordable Habitat homes as owners who know their neighbors, they found the safety and stability they have worked so hard for.

Single mothers and single fathers, as well as two-parent households, multi-generational households and single adults of all different races and ethnicities worked together on each other’s houses to build this now thriving community. In a region where land and housing prices are far outpacing the increase in wages, keeping this development affordable depended on the mixture of public and private funding Asheville Area Habitat was able to procure. Without the HOME and CDBG funds, these 24 families would not be living in their new safe, energy-efficient houses in the culturally vibrant community they have created together. Because of HOME and CDBG funding, they are!

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