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Photos: Holt Pearce’s Journey to Homeownership

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Holt Pearce came to Asheville because of the music of Warren Haynes. Anyone who has volunteered with Habitat’s Before the Jam, Lend a Hand program over the past eight years is well acquainted with Holt. He is the kind of guy who places importance on helping others. After years of helping others on their path to homeownership, he applied and decided to allow other to help him.

On Thursday November 16th Holt Pearce closed on his affordable 2 bedroom/one bathroom home, making him and his daughter Piper the final family to purchase and move into their home on McKinley Avenue! Best wishes to Holt and Piper as they start this new chapter of their lives!

Holt on his first day of sweat equity.

Holt with his daughter Piper at a key passing for a Christmas Jam House in 2013, before applying for homeownership.

His daughter Piper signing a stud during the kick-off event for their house.

Holt signing his closing documents Nov. 16, 2017 at Roberts & Stevens in downtown Asheville.

Holt working at McKinley Avenue March 2017.

Holt shouts “hello” to his next door neighbor’s youngest daughter as she waves while moving in Thursday Nov. 16.

Holt in front of his affordable home he purchased that morning, Thursday Nov. 16.

Hudson Hills is complete!

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“I come home each day through the street filled with smiling children on bikes, playing on the sidewalks and shooting baskets through hoops. I come home to people visiting and sharing and laughing and smiling on their porches or walking their babies or puppy dogs. I come home to a sanctuary. A place filled with so much love. Hudson Hills Soulshine.”
~ Rhonda, Habitat homeowner

Successful affordable housing initiatives require the partnership of many constituent groups – public, private and municipalities. Last week, we celebrated the completion of our most recent neighborhood, Hudson Hills. It was made possible with the support of the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the W&S Foundation (through Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam), and many local businesses, individuals, faith partners, and foundations. Funding was also provided by Habitat homeowner mortgage payments and ReStore proceeds. And in addition to funding, thousands of community volunteers – alongside future homeowners – built these homes.

House sponsor representatives presented ceremonial keys to the last six homes in the neighborhood, among a sea of children and large group of well-wishers. Executive Director Andy Barnett pointed out that three of the program participants have dedicated their careers to affordable housing: Bill Dowse from NCHFA (North Carolina Housing Finance Agency); Lew Kraus and Joan Cooper who recently retired from Asheville Area Habitat; and Jeff Staudinger, the City of Asheville’s Assistant Director of Community and Economic Development. Leadership from affordable housing advocates like these three, coupled with diverse funding partnerships, dedicated volunteers,  and future homeowner participation has proven time and again to be a recipe for a successful Habitat community.

With the strong foundation provided by decent and affordable homes, 24 more local families now have the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future for themselves. With a decent place to live and an affordable mortgage, these homeowners can save more, invest in the future, pursue opportunities, and have more stability. THANK YOU to everyone who helped us build Hudson Hills, a beautiful community of decent, affordable, energy-efficient houses, that are being turned into homes.

To see photos from the October 14th dedication event, please click here.

To see a short video produced by Buncombe County TV, click here.

Warren Haynes Presents: The 26th Annual Christmas Jam on December 13, 2014

On October 6, 2014 – World Habitat Day – Warren Haynes announced that the 26th Annual Christmas Jam will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Held at the US Cellular Center in Asheville, NC this year’s benefit concert will feature Vince Gill, Gov’t Mule, Billy & The Kids, Hard Working Americans, The Revivalists and Jason Isbell with his band, with additional artists to be announced soon.

One of the most celebrated and longest-running live concerts in the U.S., the Christmas Jam will benefit our affiliate for the 16th year in a row! Just a few months ago, Haynes presented Asheville Area Habitat with a record-breaking $500,000 in proceeds from last year’s epic, sold-out Silver Anniversary event. Read more.

Warren Haynes Donates $500,000 to Asheville Area Habitat  

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Christmas came early in Asheville this year when Warren Haynes presented Asheville Area Habitat with the proceeds check from the 2013 Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam — a record-breaking $500,000! Haynes who played in Charlotte, NC the night before and was enroute to Alpharetta, GA for another show, chose to stop in Asheville to make the special presentation in person. Xmas Jam proceeds now exceed $1.8 million!

“Stef and I were overwhelmed. We knew it was a good year, but we were surprised by how good,” said Haynes of the final number. The significant increase over past years was due to a number of different things he said, most notable the fact that it was a 2-night, 25th anniversary show. “Merch also sold incredibly well, we were able to keep expenses down, there was Pay-Per-View and new partners like Sierra Nevada…it were a lot of different factors.”

Executive Director, Lew Kraus notes that donations of this size are few and far between and this will go a long way to helping Habitat with the most capital intensive part of our work – acquiring and developing land. Speaking of land…

The short event was held at Habitat’s newest subdivision, Hudson Hills. Habitat offered Warren and his wife Stefani Scamardo the naming rights to recognize their long-standing commitment to and the couple chose the name to honor their young son, Hudson. Recently just a plot of land, Hudson Hills is now an active construction site and the future home of 25 single family homes, thanks in part to the generosity of Haynes and Scamardo and their successful benefit concert.

The street into the subdivision – Soulshine Court – also honors Haynes. About the name, Haynes remarked, “Soulshine is a song that resonates with many people and it’s particularly meaningful to me because it was inspired by my father. He worked hard as a single dad to raise me and my brothers in Asheville, so it’s fitting that a street named Soulshine Court will be in my hometown and that it will be a place that 25 families will call home.”

We presented Haynes with a Soulshine Court street sign. One event attendee suggested he put in his tour bus, an idea Warren seemed to like.

Read the Asheville Citizen Times article here, or view our online photo album.

New Subdivision, Hudson Hills, to Start in West Asheville

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Neighborhood will honor Warren Haynes’ commitment to Habitat

This July, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity will begin building a cul-de-sac of 25 single-family Arts & Crafts style homes off Johnston Boulevard in West Asheville. The neighborhood of Green Built NC-certified homes is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

Asheville Habitat purchased the Johnston Boulevard property in 2009, but only recently received funding to begin infrastructure work. “Our work is both capital and time intensive. We always need to be looking for land at least 3-5 years in advance to ensure we have available building lots for future Habitat homes,” said Lew Kraus, Executive Director.

Thanks to grants and loans from the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium, through the Home Investment Partnerships Program funded by Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Buncombe County Affordable Housing Services Program, Habitat was able to recently complete the infrastructure work, including grading, extending water and sewer lines, paving the street and installing sidewalks.

The subdivision name – Hudson Hills – was selected by Warren Haynes and his wife Stefani Scamardo who were offered the naming rights in recognition of their long-standing commitment to Habitat. Proceeds from their annual Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam now exceeds $1.3 million. The street – Soulshine Court – was also named in their honor. Soulshine is one of Warren’s most popular songs and it resonates with many people.

In addition to this new subdivision, work continues on a 17-house subdivision in Swannanoa and a recently started home on Jeffress Avenue in Shiloh, stretching Habitat’s building program across three quadrants of the county simultaneously.

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