Our History

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) incorporated in 1983 under the name of Western North Carolina Habitat for Humanity making it the first Habitat affiliate in North Carolina.  Today the state boasts 87 affiliates.

The first Habitat house took volunteers 18 months to complete with a few dedicated volunteers working only on Saturdays. Currently, volunteers work six days each week; we begin a new house every 3 1/2 weeks.

We have completed 252 houses and are on target to build 14 new houses and preserve 30 existing homes this year through our new Home Repair program.

There have been many milestones marking the growth of our affiliate:

1983 - Founding of the affiliate under the name of WNC Habitat for Humanity

1984 - Construction of first house begins on Martin Luther King Drive.

1985 - First house completed at the cost of $25,000.

1988 - First staff member hired.

1989 - First church sponsored house - First Baptist, First Presbyterian, Central United Methodist and Trinity Episcopal join forces to finance and build a house.

1990 - Habitat Home Store makes its debut on Biltmore Avenue.

1991 - Volunteers build 6 new Habitat houses and rehab 2.

1992 - First Annual Golf Tournament held at Champion Hills

1993 - WNC Habitat celebrates its 10th anniversary by hosting the Regional Meeting for all Habitat affiliates in North and South Carolina.  Over 900 people attended the two day convention.

1994 - First Women’s House built by affiliate.  Architect, construction supervisors and volunteers were women.  Men allowed on worksite to bring lunches.

1995 - Name changed from WNC Habitat for Humanity to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity to reflect our service area now that other affiliates were forming in western North Carolina.

1996 - Completion of Oakwood, our first sub-division of 20 houses.

1999 - Developed property in West Asheville in a cooperative effort with the City of Asheville and the other non-profit housing providers.  Habitat completed six of the 18 houses.

2000 - Habitat received 34 lot subdivision donated by the City of Asheville.

2001 - Habitat celebrated its 100th house.  Habitat founders, Millard and Linda Fuller attended

  • Skip and Mary Hood Pearlman donate facility at 31 Meadow Road to AAHH – future Habitat Home Center

2002 - Affiliate launches its first capital campaign to renovate donated building on Meadow Road.  Campaign raises $2.3 M in six months.

2003 - AAHH moves to new Habitat Home Center, with expanded Home Store and administrative offices.  Celebrates 20th anniversary of the affiliate.

  • Mortgage on the first house built by Habitat is paid off by the family.

2004 - First Anniversary at the Habitat Home Center.  Home Store sales grew by 299% since moving to Meadow Road.

2005 - AAHH receives Affiliate of the Year Award for our 5 state Central Atlantic Region.

2006 - With funds from the City of Asheville and The Janirve Foundation, development was completed for Enka Hills, a 55 lot sub-division in West Asheville. This is the largest Asheville Area Habitat development to date.

2007 - Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity completes the affiliate’s 150th house.

2008 - Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

2009 - AAHH wins 2009 Housing North Carolina Award for its Enka Hills sub-division.

2010 - Asheville Area Habitat completes its 200th house!

  • The Home Store celebrates its 20th anniversary!

  • Asheville Area Habitat's Administrative Offices move to 33 Meadow Road, adjacent to the Home Store's 31 Meadow Road location. 

  • Asheville Area Habitat expands scope of service to include repair program with introduction of Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI).

2011 - The Home Store adopts a new name: ReStore

  • A grand reopening celebration in September marks the completion of the renovation of the ReStore.  Larry, Gluth, Senior VP of Habitat International, participates in the celebration.

2012 - The ReStore is ranked #3 in the nation, out of more than 775 ReStores

2013 - Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 30th Anniversary!

  • Lew Kraus celebrates his 25th Anniversary as Asheville Area Habitat's executive director
  • Asheville Area Habitat's 30th Anniversary House is recognized as the 10,000th Habitat house to be built in the state of North Carolina