5 Reasons to Donate to Asheville Habitat

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What does a donation to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity really do? What’s the impact? We’ve taken a closer look at the top five reasons to donate to Asheville Habitat this holiday season.

1. Bridge the racial homeownership gap.

It’s no secret that a legacy of bad, racist housing policy at every level of government has left people of color behind. In Western NC, the rate of white homeownership is 74% while black homeownership is 38%. That gap is larger today than when the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968.

Homeownership is the primary way families accumulate wealth and every day Asheville Habitat works to help close the racial homeownership gap and expand access to stable and healthy homes. People of color make up more than 40% of Asheville Habitat’s mortgage portfolio compared to 5% of all homeowners in our region. Habitat’s thriving diverse neighborhoods defy the lies behind residential segregation. Hundreds of successful Habitat mortgages disprove the myths justifying redlining and predatory lending. A donation to Asheville Habitat makes homeownership possible for all of our neighbors and helps combat a legacy of discrimination.

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2. Provide children the chance to thrive.

Research shows that poor housing quality is the most consistent and strongest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in children. When parents pay an affordable mortgage for a safe home in a thriving neighborhood, children have fewer school absences, higher grades, better health outcomes, and more educational opportunities. A donation to Asheville Habitat helps provide a stable foundation so children can thrive.

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3. Enable our neighbors to remain in their homes.

For far too many homeowners, their living conditions suffer from out-of-reach, costly home repairs, such as leaky roofs, broken heating systems, inaccessible entrances, and rotten floors and walls. For many of our Home Repair clients, their homes have been in their families for generations, and it’s these homeowners that are most at-risk to displacement. We know from a recent investigative series by AvL Watchdog, that to this day predators use loopholes in the system and illegal means to strip homeownership and generational wealth from homeowners who are elderly, low-income and people of color.

Our Home Repair program provides critical repairs at no cost so homeowners can live with dignity and safety in their home. Homeowners like Carol, a former ReStore volunteer, can now move safely throughout her Black Mountain family home. After our team installed accessibility features and updated his gutters, roof, and electrical system, Kenneth– a retired veteran- can continue to safely live in his home and on the Kenilworth land his ancestors were forced to work on as slaves and then purchased after achieving freedom.

A donation to Asheville Habitat fights displacement, helps homeowners remain in their home and community as they age.

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4. Help us continue to build in the face of rising construction costs.

Skyrocketing building material prices, supply chain issues, and a building boom has created a particularly challenging environment in which to build affordable housing. Paul Reeves, the Director of Construction Services at Asheville Habitat, says it now costs $20,000 – $25,000 more per house to build.

The overall construction cost increase is due to a price increase in lumber, the lack of availability of materials, limited sub-contractor availability, and new expenses after the suspension of Gift In Kind programs that typically supply Asheville Habitat with a range of materials and products at no-cost.

Unlike other builders, Asheville Habitat can’t pass increased costs on to homebuyers. And Habitat homebuyers can’t wait. Construction delays mean more time living in substandard, unsafe, and unaffordable housing.

100% of your donation to Asheville Habitat helps cover expensive constructions costs and helps build strength, stability, and self-reliance for another family in Buncombe County.

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5. Break the cycle of poverty.

A decent place to live is intricately tied to better opportunities. It’s not uncommon that Habitat homeowners are the first to own a home in their family. What does stable, affordable housing mean for them? It means having a choice over when and why you move. It means parents can have financial stability and children can focus on school. It means a their mortgage payment doesn’t wipe the majority of a household’s earnings away each month. When you donate to Asheville Habitat, you are helping families have the opportunity to break the cycle of generational poverty and achieve financial security.