Tag Archive for: Affordable Housing

Celebrating our volunteers!

Core volunteers (weekly or bi-weekly) are foundational to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Their commitment to service has helped bring thousands of adults and children home since 1983. What keeps them coming back, week after week and year after year? Overwhelmingly, it is a commitment to Habitat’s mission, the camaraderie of fellow volunteers, a sense of purpose, and fulfilling, feel-good work.

Spotlight: Weaverville ReStore

The original "Habitat Home Store" on Biltmore Ave in 1990

The original “Habitat Home Store” in 1990.

By Danny Mendl

When former Executive Director Lew Kraus opened the (then called) “Habitat for Humanity Home Store” on Biltmore Avenue in 1990, the endeavor could almost be described as experimental. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity became one of the first Habitat affiliates in the nation to help fund its housing programs by reselling donated goods. Residents of Asheville could donate gently used furniture and items that they no longer needed while shopping for things they did need at below retail prices, with proceeds from the process supporting the construction of affordable housing in their community. The experiment proved to be a hit, and after moving to its current location at 31 Meadow Road in 2001, the Asheville ReStore continued to grow into its status today as one of the top performing ReStores out of nearly 900 nationwide.

As Asheville Habitat’s flagship ReStore grew, so too did the volume of donated merchandise passing through the store. ReStore trucks picked up donations in the community at no charge, bringing new batches of secondhand goods into the store each day, while Habitat’s Deconstruction program filled the retail floor with in-demand building materials extracted from homes and commercial real estate prior to remodeling. When the time came for Asheville Habitat to open a second ReStore location, it was less experimental than inevitable.


In August of 2019, 29 years after the doors of the Asheville ReStore first opened, the Weaverville ReStore welcomed its first customers. Located in the Weaverville Crossings shopping plaza at 61 Weaver Blvd. where a hardware store once stood, the second, slightly smaller store was a natural fit for the Weaverville community and northern Buncombe County as a whole. Today, the Weaverville ReStore is an important source of funding for Asheville Habitat’s building programs; though Weaverville’s population is only 4% of Asheville’s, the Weaverville ReStore does roughly 33% of the total business of its Asheville counterpart.

A crowd of people waiting outside of the Weaverville ReStore on opening day.

The opening of the Weaverville ReStore in August of 2019.

The Weaverville ReStore accepts, processes, and resells much of the same merchandise as the Asheville ReStore: furniture, housewares, appliances, building supplies, art, and more. Despite its smaller size, the Weaverville store even matches the Asheville store with a secondhand bookstore of its own, complete with a selection of digital and analog media like DVDs, CDs, tapes, and records.

This summer will mark the fifth anniversary of the Weaverville ReStore, celebrating half a decade of diverting saleable goods from the landfill and affordably recirculating them throughout Buncombe County to support Asheville Habitat’s Homeownership and Home Repair programs. Looking forward to the next half decade to come, we sat down with Weaverville ReStore Manager Kim Klaas to reflect on what makes the Weaverville store unique:


Q: What’s the biggest difference between the Asheville and Weaverville ReStores?

A: *Laughs* “The size! Definitely the size of the space. The whole Weaverville store could fit in the Asheville ReStore’s upper showroom. But that’s okay, we just have to get a little bit creative to fit all of the generous donations from the community into our store.”

The main aisle of the Weaverville ReStore, surrounded by dining sets and furniture.

Inside the Weaverville ReStore

Q: Are there benefits to running a smaller store?

A: “Maybe the relationships. We get a lot of traffic from Asheville and the surrounding towns, of course, but Weaverville is a small town. The people who donate and shop here know about us, and they know about Asheville Habitat’s work. Maybe they know someone who purchased a Habitat home, have a friend who volunteers, or have a relative whose home had work done by our Home Repair team. They believe in the work that we do. The deals don’t hurt either!”


Q: What do you think are the best deals at the Weaverville ReStore?

A: “Is ‘everything’ an acceptable answer? If I have to choose, I think the bookstore is a hidden gem. Where else are you going to find a selection of books like this, including some new or recent prints, for only $1-$2 each?”

Rows of books inside the Weaverville ReStore's bookstore.

A look inside the Weaverville ReStore’s bookstore.

Q: Why would someone come to the Weaverville ReStore instead of the Asheville ReStore?

A: “Wrong question. You should visit both stores; we’re only 15 minutes apart! We carry mostly the same things as Asheville: building supplies, furniture, housewares, electronics, art, etc. We even have entire cabinet sets, sometimes multiple! But because our stores are donation-based, you’re going to find different items in each. Your search for the right couch isn’t complete until you’ve checked both.”


Q: You don’t think there’s anything that’s more likely to be found at the Weaverville ReStore?

A: “Alright, well, if we can keep a secret… I think there’s an older demographic here in town, and when they commit to spring cleaning, they donate some really cool vintage items that never last long. You’ll have to stop in to see.”


Q: What would you say to someone who hasn’t shopped at the Weaverville ReStore before?

A: “Don’t be shy, come visit us! And don’t be afraid to ask questions. The fun of the ReStore, and Habitat, is in its community. You never know, the person ringing you up at the register might be a friend of a friend, or possibly a future Habitat Homeowner contributing their Sweat Equity hours.”

Choosing the Mountains Over the Beach

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March is a fun and exciting time at Asheville Area Habitat as we provide an alternative spring break opportunity – Collegiate Challenge. Every year student from around the country comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains and spend a week volunteering with us.

Housing: an issue we can all get behind


Habitat is non-partisan: we bring people together. We unite people of various religions, ethnicities, socio-economic classes, and political beliefs around the common goal of building a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Housing is an issue we can all get behind.

Here and Now

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Having an above-expectations experience, Jessie is quick to recommend AmeriCorps service as an excellent opportunity to explore career paths, learn and grow, or travel and live somewhere new.

Habitat’s Home Repair Program Expands to Madison County


Habitat’s Home Repair team tackled their first ever project in Madison County for Thomas, client in need of a stable, safe porch. The home was built in 1856 and added onto in the early 1900s- perhaps the oldest home we’ve ever worked on!

Building together for 40 years


Four decades of life-changing work is punctuated with impressive statistics and heart-warming stories. For Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity on its 40th Anniversary, those statistics and stories speak to the enduring power of partnership.

SOID Explained


We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live and that no one should be denied housing because of how they pay their rent. We encourage you to learn more about SOID and take action by urging your elected officials to protect renters from source of income discrimination. Together, we can help make decent housing accessible to more local families.

Music Builds Homes and Communities

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On Friday December 9th at 3pm, Habitat’s New Heights neighborhood will be bustling with even more activity than usual. Following a short speaking program, Warren Haynes will join volunteers, supporters, and future homeowner Melissa Mitchell and her daughters to raise the first wall of their new home, the 2023 Christmas Jam House. This house is special for another reason too; it is 20-year Habitat staffer and Senior Construction Supervisor Kenny Busch’s 100th Asheville Habitat house!

To date, the annual Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam has raised more than $2.7 million for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, constructing 40+ Habitat homes and helping to pay infrastructure and development costs of entire Habitat neighborhoods.

Future homeowner and Asheville native Melissa Mitchell is thrilled to be able to purchase a new and affordable Green Built Habitat home. Despite steady full-time employment in the healthcare field, Melissa has struggled to find decent housing for her family in the Asheville area, one of the state’s highest cost housing markets. With few options for affordable housing, the Mitchell family has had to sacrifice quality to make ends meet. Melissa has described her current subsidized rental as “shelter,” and looks forward to finally having a place she can call “home.”

With the return of the annual benefit concert, comes the return of Asheville Habitat’s signature volunteer experience, Before the Jam, Lend a Hand. Volunteers from near and far will help build new homes, work on a home repair project, and serve in the Asheville ReStore. Local restaurants including Luella’s BBQ and Mellow Mushroom and will feed the helpers, and Merrell will again sponsor the signature volunteer event.

Asheville Habitat’s Executive Director Andy Barnett noted, “Habitat has been uniquely blessed this year. We are proud to share proceeds of the Christmas Jam with BeLoved Asheville. Working with those facing chronic housing instability, their work is a perfect fit with our vision of a world where everyone has a place to call home.”

Interested in helping the causes that Warren Haynes and The Christmas Jam support? Here are a few suggestions:

  • There are a few Before the Jam volunteer slots available. Click here to see options and register.
  • Donate to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity online. Select Christmas Jam 23 as Purpose.
  • Attend and participate in a variety of Jam by Day events, including a Toy Drive for BeLoved.
  • Stop by the Habitat tables at The Christmas Jam to say hello, learn about programs, donate $1 to sign a stud wall which will be used in the construction of a Habitat house, and enter a raffle to win a VIP package for the 2023 Christmas Jam!


Tag Archive for: Affordable Housing

Blueprint Breakfast for Dinner


Bbfd Announcement

Breakfast with a twist that you don’t want to miss!

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal– a strong foundation for a good day. Stable, affordable housing is the foundation of a thriving community. Attend or sponsor Asheville Habitat’s Blueprint Breakfast for Dinner to help our community thrive, one family at a time.

Treat yourself to a fabulous evening! Delicious dishes from 7 local chefs, live music by High Ground String Band, wine tastings, a raffle and more. Each sponsorship and ticket sold will help build the Blueprint Breakfast House, an affordable Green Built home, in partnership with a local family.

Buy tickets here.

Tag Archive for: Affordable Housing