The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit ministry that builds and sells homes to families in need, recently closed on the purchase of a 4-acre parcel of land in Swannanoa. Habitat plans to build a neighborhood of approximately 15 Arts & Crafts-style homes on the property, which is located off Dennis Street in Beacon Village, on the site of the old ball field.
"Habitat had been looking for a location in the eastern part of the County for quite some time, and we were delighted when this opportunity came along," said Jim Lowder, Development Director at Asheville Area Habitat. "We’re looking forward to building a neighborhood of quality, affordable homes in Swannanoa, and to being a part of the Swannanoa community."
The HealthyBuilt Swannanoa homes will range in size from 800 – 1400 square feet, and will have 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms. Each house includes energy-efficient appliances, yard, storage shed, and even a lawn mower! The homes will be sold to qualified applicants who earn between 30 and 70% of the Area Median Income. Homes will sell for approximately $100,000 – $150,000, depending on the size of the house. Plans call for approximately one acre of the property to be left as undeveloped green space for the enjoyment of the neighborhood.
Construction won’t begin for at least another year, but preparations have already begun. Like all Habitat projects, the Swannanoa build will rely heavily on the generosity of sponsors, partners and volunteers. There are many ways for the community to get involved. Businesses, churches, and other groups or individuals can sign on as full or partial sponsors of a house. Sponsors donate funding for building materials, and may also volunteer to help with construction. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please call Betsy Warren at 210-9363.
And how about signing up to join a Habitat construction crew? No prior experience is necessary, and you can volunteer to work for as few or as many days as your schedule permits. For volunteer information, send an email to email@example.com or call 251-5702.
Families who are interested in applying for a Habitat home must meet certain eligibility requirements such as residency, need and ability to pay. Applicants must also be willing to contribute a minimum of 200 hours of "Sweat Equity" at the construction site and in Habitat’s Home Store. Habitat sells homes to approved families at no profit, and there is 0% interest. Mortgage payments typically range from $450 – $550 per month. To find out more about becoming a Habitat homeowner, contact Byron Alday at 210-9370 or visit www.ashevillehabitat.org.
In addition to building new homes in Swannanoa, Habitat will also undertake several Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives through its new program – A Brush With Kindness. This program helps existing low-income homeowners by offering affordable exterior home improvements such as painting, landscaping and minor repairs. More details will become available in 2011.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has built more than 200 houses in Buncombe County since 1983, and they look forward to "bringing more families home" to Swannanoa soon.
|Proposed site map (subject to change) for Habitat’s Swannanoa build.
From October 2010 SPCC E-Newsletter