Aging in Place: a homeownership opportunity for seniors

WHAT IS IT? Aging in Place (AIP) is Asheville Habitat’s new affordable homeownership program for aging adults (age 55+). These single-level AIP townhomes will be built with Universal Design features including bathroom grab bars, zero steps, and other design details that enable homeowners to age with safety and dignity. The design and construction of these Aging in Place homes is possible through our partnership with and the generosity of Deerfield Charitable Foundation and the Board and Residents of Deerfield Retirement Community. 

WHERE IS IT? Aging-in-Place townhomes are built into Habitat’s subdivision-style neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is a mix of Aging-in-Place units, townhomes, and single-family homes, creating a multigenerational community.

WHY AIP? Older adults (age 55+) comprise 20% of Buncombe County’s population but have limited access to affordable housing options designed to meet their needs. Coordinator for Buncombe County Aging Plan Alison H. Climo shared, “Neither the current housing stock nor the booming development of new housing matches the expressed desire among older and aging residents to age in place. Buncombe County needs housing options that are affordable but also accessible to enable people of all ages, and all people as they age, to remain in the home of their choice.”

TELL ME MORE: Specifically designed for and sold to qualified older adults, Habitat’s AIP housing model will include universal design elements such as:

  • An at-grade or ramped entrance to the main floor or the capability to easily install a ramp
  • Entry doorways and passageways at least 36″ wide
  • A bathroom that will accommodate a wheelchair in a 365-degree circle
  • One-level living that includes a full bath, kitchen, laundry, living space and 1+ bedroom
  • Additional occupant-specific accommodations

Qualifications for Aging in Place (age 55+) Homeownership Program



  • Must have lived and/or worked in Buncombe or Madison Counties for a minimum of 12 months prior to application.
  • Applicants must be legal U.S. residents.


  • Living in overcrowded housing
  • Living in substandard housing
  • Paying more than 30% of gross income on rent
  • Living in temporary, subsidized, or public housing
  • Unable to perform daily activities due to home conditions or accessibility barriers

Willingness to Partner

  • Each applicant who will be listed on the deed must be willing to perform 200 hours of Sweat Equity.
  • Applicants must be willing to complete a Homebuyer Education program.
  • Appropriate accommodations can be made for physical limitations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ability to Pay

  • Rental History: must have paid rent or mortgage*/property taxes on-time for 12 months prior to applying.  *Current homeowners must be willing to sell their home.
  • Debt-to-Income ratio: Monthly debts cannot consume more than 18% of gross monthly income.
  • Delinquent Debt: no more than $1,500 in total balances at the time of application.
  • Medical Collections: less than three years old- no more than $2,500. If greater than three years old- no more than $7,500.
  • Revolving Debt (ie: credit card debt): no more than $2,500 in total balances at the time of application, excluding student loan or automobile loan debt.
  • Bankruptcy: must wait two years after being discharged.
  • Employment history: When considering income from employment, minimum 2 years of continuous employment history, including at least 12 months with current employer.
  • Income: Income must be stable and fall below 80% of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Area Median Income. See chart to the right.

Income guidelines (subject to change)

  • Number of Household Members
  • 1 person
  • 2 people
  • Monthly Minimum
  • $1,983
  • $2,266
  • Monthly Maximum
  • $3,966
  • $4,533

*Gross monthly income (before taxes)

Habitat will determine your house size based upon your household size.

Aip Floorplan One Side Ma Design
Aip Townhome Front Elevation

How to Get Started

The application period for Asheville Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership program is currently closed. Updates will be posted on this page as information becomes available.

In the meantime, if you are interested in Habitat’s homeownership program, please use our Self-Evaluation Tool to evaluate your readiness for our program! We also encourage you to watch the online information session.

If you have follow up questions, please email Homeowner Services at or call 828-210-9371.

Information Sessions

Want to learn more about becoming a Habitat Homeowner? Watch this Information Session.

In accepting and rejecting applications, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity must conform to all aspects of the Fair Housing Act and all Fair Housing Laws, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Privacy Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as any local applicable laws as they apply to applications for a mortgage.