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+). With generous support from local retirement community, Deerfield, Habitat will build single-level townhomes featuring universal design elements such as at-grade entrances, wide door frames, and wheelchair accessible bathrooms, for qualified aging adults to purchase.

WHERE IS IT? The townhomes will be located in Asheville Habitat’s new neighborhood in West Asheville, New Heights. Just 6 miles from downtown, this community will also include single family homes and two-story townhomes, making it a place where 98 households of all ages and backgrounds will build strong, stable futures.

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 County 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.
  • 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; 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.
  • Income: must be stable and fall between 40% – 80% of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Area Median Income. See chart below.

Homeownership Income Guidelines Aip

Aip Floorplan One Side Ma Design
Aip Townhome Front Elevation

How to Get Started

To begin the process, download and submit an application. For more details on the homeownership program, potential applicants are encouraged to watch an online Information Session. If you have questions or need additional information about applying, please call 828-554-3032 or email

Click for Downloadable/Printable Homeownership Application

hacer clic aquí para descargar /imprimir solicitud de propiedad de vivienda

*Applications cannot be processed without income documentation.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are now available for viewing online at anytime!

Aging in Place Homeownership Information Session

Want to learn more about becoming a homeowner? Fill out the form below and you will be given access to our online information session about Aging in Place, Habitat's affordable homeownership program for adults 55+. This will further explain the qualifications and application process.
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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.