Last week, the Transylvania Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors approved four new families for the Habitat Homeownership Program. Never in its history has the local affordable housing non-profit approved so many families at one time.
“The last two years have been hard on so many families and we are seeing the need for affordable housing increase exponentially,” said Angie Hunter, executive director. “We are receiving an unprecedented number of applications as we emerge from the pandemic with skyrocketing real estate prices. To put it in perspective, last year we built homes for two families that were approved at different meetings.”
The local Habitat is ramping up production of homes to meet the needs of the community. One home is near completion, two homes have foundations installed and the footers for another home were installed last week. Additionally, Habitat owned property on See Off Mountain Road is under development for future affordable homes.
“We are extremely fortunate to have talented and dedicated volunteers who help build the homes alongside future homeowners, under the guidance of our construction manager Mike Krauter,” said Hunter. “But to keep up with the pace of demand, we are in need of more volunteers and funding for the materials to build the homes.”
Last year, Habitat launched the Master Builders Club, which consisted of 10 community members who donated $5,000 each to help fund a Habitat home. This year, Habitat’s goal is to recruit 40 Master Builders to help fund four Habitat homes.
The club was conceived by Roy Hill, a board member of Transylvania Habitat for Humanity. Hill and his wife, Nan, were the first people to join the Master Builders Club.
“It brings Nan and I so much joy that our good neighbors have stepped up to the challenge to help those in need of a safe, decent place to live,” said Hill. “As a long-time construction volunteer, I see first-hand how the Habitat program drastically changes lives and that is why we are excited to be in the Master Builders Club a second year.”
Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat homes are sold to the homeowners at no-profit with an interest-free mortgage and monthly payments set at no more than 30% of the homeowner’s income. Habitat homeowners must qualify financially for the program; save toward their closing costs; attend a series of educational classes focusing on homeownership, budgeting and home maintenance; and complete 200 hours of “sweat equity” by volunteering at Habitat.
Since 1984, Transylvania Habitat for Humanity has provided 72 families a safe and affordable place to live. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact the Habitat office at (828) 884-3464, or to join the Master Builder Club, send a donation to Transylvania Habitat for Humanity at 692 Ecusta Road, Brevard, NC 28712.