Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans join together to increase affordable housing in Buncombe County

Community is invited to a wall raising to celebrate. 

Times are tough and the construction of new homes has slowed considerably across the country. But Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity continues to build affordable homes and is ready to celebrate the start of their newest build—and the community is invited to join in on the fun! The celebration begins at 12 noon on Friday, April 25 at Habitat’s construction site off Dennis Street in Swannanoa (visit ashevillehabitat.org for directions). Local Habitat for Humanity representatives and Thrivent Financial members will speak during a short program before attendees will literally raise the first wall of the new home.

This new home is a result of a partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, this partnership has resulted in more than 2,700 Habitat homes across the country and around the world since 2005. Thanks to its 2.5 million members who own financial products with the organization, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is able to contribute to the improvement of communities like Swannanoa. Thrivent Financial contributed 50 percent of the house costs—a total of $72,310—and is also engaging local volunteers who are members of Thrivent Financial, members of area Lutheran churches and members of the community at large, to donate additional funds and volunteer their time to work alongside the partner families to build these homes. Four local Lutheran churches have been involved for years and will join in the partnership again this year. They are: Abiding Savior, Church of the Nativity, Emmanuel, and St. Mark’s.

“This is the seventh home in Buncombe County sponsored by Thrivent Builds. We are profoundly grateful for Thrivent’s support and involvement in our community,” said Betsy Warren, Sponsorship Coordinator for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat partner families undergo a rigorous vetting process to make sure they are qualified to purchase a Habitat home. They must meet Habitat’s guidelines of: 1) Need; 2) Ability to pay monthly payments on a 0% interest mortgage; 3) Willingness to partner (earning “sweat equity” hours for volunteering on the house and within other aspects of Habitat); and 4) Lived or worked in Buncombe County for the past 36 months. As of press time, the potential 2014 Thrivent partner family was still undergoing final approval.

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