Safe and Healthy Homes

An IMPACT grant from WNC Bridge Foundation allowed Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) to complete health and safety home repairs on the homes of 44 low-income older adult households during the grant period. Thirty-one of those households reported improved health and safety after AAHH provided repairs. Nineteen of the house¬holds reported reduced utility bills after AAHH’s services. “Keeping our older neighbors in homes and neighborhoods they love is critical for their health and the stability of our community. This investment from WNC Bridge Foundation has touched so many lives. It clearly signals that housing is health care,” notes, Andy Barnett, AAHH’s Executive Director.

Founded in 1983 as the first Habitat affiliate in NC, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has constructed more than 359 affordable homes and completed over 450 home repair projects, helping more than 2,000 WNC residents achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. AAHH’s home construction, homebuyer education, volunteer engagement, affordable mortgage lending, and home repair services build and preserve safe, livable communities, helping low-income families build better lives for themselves.

Safe Living

Carolyn knew it was time to do something about her floor when she had to move heavy furniture off it and avoid walking on the floor altogether. Fearful of falling through the floor and injuring herself, she turned to Asheville Habitat’s Home Repair Program. She was no stranger to Habitat because Carolyn served as a ReStore volunteer for four years.

Built in the 1940s, Carolyn’s home, like many older homes, was suffering from water damage, which caused her home’s floor and wall to rot, creating an unsafe living situation. Thanks to IMPACT Grant funding provided by WNC Bridge Foundation, the Home Repair team rebuilt the 16′ x 14′ section of the flooring system in Carolyn’s living room, where the framing was failing from water damage.

The home repair included removing the existing flooring and subflooring, installing new floor framing and support posts, and installing subflooring. The team also repaired the 16′ x 8′ exterior wall, bathroom plumbing, and bathroom floor. Now with a walk-in shower and stable walls and flooring, Carolyn can live comfortably and safely in her home again.

Looking Ahead

In FY22, AAHH will complete 70 Home Repair projects for low-income homeowners. AAHH estimates that 50 or more of these projects will be for homeowners age 60-plus. In the face of rising construction costs and limited availability of buildable land, AAHH’s home repairs are a critical piece to the puzzle to addressing Buncombe County’s affordable housing crisis.

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IMPACT Grant funding allowed AAHH to complete health and safety home repairs on the homes of 44 low-income older adult households.