SECU Habitat Challenge
Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina’s ambitious SECU Habitat Mountains to the Sea Challenge is under way! The $10 million partnership with the State Employees Credit Union Foundation (SECU) will work with Habitat’s 70 affiliates across the state to build or renovate a home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. A recent $450,000 award from The Oak Foundation (includes a $225,000 match) that will cover most of the administrative costs associated with the oversight of the challenge provides additional support this unprecedented initiative.
“Normally, a Habitat affiliate offers a family a zero-percent-interest mortgage and waits 25 to 30 years to recover its asset,” says Greg Kirkpatrick, Habitat NC’s executive director and president. “With the SECU Foundation partnership the affiliate will recover the full mortgage value at closing up to $150,000, and can then put those funds to work building another house for a family.”
Through this challenge, Habitat will build in the 75 counties that they are already serve, as well as in the 25 counties that lie outside the service area of any one affiliate. The three year 100-home challenge is expected to be completed in 2018 and homes have already been finished in some counties. As part of the SECU Challenge, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity will build a home in neighboring McDowell County in the spring of 2017, one in our own service area of Buncombe County in the fall of 2017, and another in nearby Madison County in 2018.
Since 1983, Habitat has produced 7,600 new homes in North Carolina, rehabbed 500 and provided critically needed repairs on another 1,825. All told, Habitat has served more than 9,900 Tar Heel families.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, the first affiliate in the state of NC, has built nearly 300 new houses and repaired another 170 since its 1983 inception. With a limited housing stock and housing costs that far outpace local wages, the need for affordable housing is at an all-time high in Asheville and Buncombe County.