About Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Founded in 1983, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity was the first Habitat affiliate in North Carolina. Through Habitat homeownership and home repair programs, more than 2,100 adults and children in Buncombe County have achieved the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future. A decent place to call home and an affordable mortgage enables Habitat homeowners to save more, invest in education, pursue opportunities and have greater financial stability.
In December 2021, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and Madison County Habitat for Humanity recently decided to join forces to strengthen Habitat for Humanity in our region. As a combined organization serving Buncombe and Madison Counties, more families will be served with life-changing homeownership and home repair programs in the coming years.
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Everyone deserves a place to call home, and
everyone can help make that possible for another family.
Our DEI Commitment Statement
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity affirms housing as a human right and homeownership as a foundation for generational wealth and social mobility. We recognize that systemic and individual forms of inequity deny these rights and opportunities to some of our neighbors. The disparities in quality of life that result diminish the vitality of our community.
We also acknowledge that “bringing people together” is central to our mission. People with diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds are critical to our success.
Therefore, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity commits to:
- Advocate for fair and affordable housing for all people in our community, especially those experiencing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religion
- Strive towards just and equal access to homeownership
- Identify, raise awareness, and work to dismantle inequities in housing, specifically the effects of systemic racism on communities of color
- Increase the diversity of our staff, board, donors, vendors, advocates, volunteers, and leaders
- Engage a range of perspectives as we develop our organizational strategy and seek to include those most affected by our decisions
- Build a workplace culture that values and reflects the variety of people and life experiences of the community we serve.
Our DEI Syllabus
We invite you to continue or begin your DEI education by visiting our DEI Syllabus. Here you’ll find links to resources such as podcasts and articles, recommended books, and more.
How the Habitat Homeownership Model Works
- Habitat offers a hand up, not a hand out
- Habitat builds homes and sells them to qualified families at no-profit
- Community volunteers help keep costs down
- Home buyers must meet qualifications based on need, willingness to partner, and ability to pay
- Homeowners pay back an affordable mortgage, typically over 30 years
- Mortgage payments depend on the size of house and family and do not exceed 30% of the homebuyers gross monthly income
- Homeowners also perform a minimum of 200 hours of sweat equity as part of their partnership with Habitat
- Donations, sponsorships, grants, homeowner mortgage payments and ReStore proceeds fund our building programs
Frequently Asked Questions
How many houses has Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity built?
We have built more than 367 new houses and repaired more than 400 existing homes.
Who can apply to own an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity home?
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and has the legal capacity to enter into a binding contract may apply for an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity home. Please refer to the Homeownership page for details.
Do you have to have children to become a Habitat homeowner?
No. Anyone regardless of household makeup, color, sexuality, age, ethnicity, background, faith, etc. can apply for a home. Visit our Homeownership page for more info on how to qualify.
Do you give the houses away?
Habitat is not a give-away program. Once approved, future homeowners work in partnership with sponsors and volunteers. Future homeowners complete required sweat equity (volunteer work) which includes taking Homeownership Classes, attending Habitat events, volunteering in the ReStore, and building their home and the homes of their neighbors. Homeowners pay back the cost of their house through an affordable mortgage.
Where does Habitat build?
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s service area is Buncombe and Madison Counties. We are currently building single-family detached homes and two-story walk-out townhomes in West Asheville in our New Heights neighborhood, as well as a single-family detached home in Mars Hill.
What kind of houses do you build?
AAHH builds modest 2, 3, and 4 bedroom single family detached houses and 2-story townhomes designed by local architects that range from 880 to 1,694 square feet in size. AAHH also builds single-level townhomes designed for aging adults, as well as our newest model, 2-story walk-out townhomes. Houses are “stick built” (not pre-fabricated) and Green Built-certified, reflecting our continued commitment to environmental sustainability. In fact, Asheville Habitat is the largest builder of Green Built homes in the state!
What is the cost of a Habitat home in Asheville?
The fair market value of Habitat homes in our service area is currently between $210,000 to $360,000 depending on house size and location. The homeowner’s cost (mortgage payment and related cost) will never exceed 30% of their gross monthly income.
Who funds Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity houses?
Individuals, businesses, faith communities, civic organizations, foundations, government programs, revenue from the Habitat ReStores and mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners all come together to fund Habitat’s building programs.
Do you have any other housing programs?
Yes! We also offer an affordable Home Repair program for low-income homeowners in Buncombe County. Through this program, low-income homeowners can apply for services including exterior painting/staining, interior and exterior repairs, floor repair, HVAC work, roof repair, modifications for accessibility, and more. Visit the Home Repair page for complete details.
How can I get involved with your work?
To explore the many ways to contribute to Habitat – as a volunteer, donor, sponsor, or advocate – please visit our How to Help page.
What is your connection to Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat for Humanity operates in nearly 1,300 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world. We share a name and a vision with Habitat for Humanity International, but we are an independent corporation governed by a local board of directors.
Is Habitat a Christian organization?
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc. (AAHH) works to ensure that every family in Buncombe County has a safe and decent house by offering affordable homeownership and home preservation opportunities for qualified families. Since 1983, Asheville Area Habitat, an independent affiliate of the ecumenical Christian housing ministry Habitat for Humanity International, has welcomed people of all faiths, ethnicity, sexuality, and backgrounds to its organization and communities. You do not have to be Christian to volunteer, work, or apply for housing with AAHH.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.