In 2010, Asheville Area Habitat expanded its housing services beyond new construction to include the repair and preservation of existing homes in the community, acknowledging that not everyone needs a new home; some just need help fixing the one they already own. Since that time, the nonprofit has completed 150 repair projects, serving more than 200 adults and 50 children in need of safe, affordable housing.
A thank you note from repair client Jan G. reads, “Please pass along my gratitude to all in the Habitat repair program in assisting me to keep my house in safe and good shape. This is a fabulous program for Buncombe County. I appreciate your kind and attentive listening to my needs and helping to make good decisions for the home repair. The excellent work was done in a timely and efficient manner.”
Grants like the abovementioned enable Habitat to serve more low-income homeowners like Jan who need home repairs but are unable to afford them on the open market. “We are truly grateful for the support of these funders. By supporting our home repair program, more homeowners are empowered to live longer and better in a home they already own. Plus, the repair program helps retain affordable housing stock – an increasingly rare commodity in our community,” notes Kit Rains, fund development director for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.
Like Habitat’s homeownership model, there are qualifications and cost re-capture for the home repair program. By offering 0% interest on a deeply subsidized short-term loan, utilizing volunteers, and receiving financial support such as these grants, Habitat is able to offer low-income homeowners repairs at a cost they can afford. Services include the repair or replacement of porches, steps, windows, roofs, heating/cooling systems and much more. Habitat also does work to improve accessibility such as adding ramps, wider doorways, and grab bars. To learn more, please visit ashevillehabitat.org.