Foundation challenge grant to support critical repairs–with your help

What do you do when the heat goes out?

For many of us, a call to the repair company or landlord results in a warm house soon enough. But some of our friends and neighbors—who may own their home but are on fixed retirement or disability income—find themselves making do with space heaters or toughing out the cold under extra layers and blankets.

That is the case for Timothy, an elderly veteran living in Troutman. When an Our Towns Habitat staff member visited Timothy recently to assess the need for repairs, his home was so cold that Timothy was visibly shaking.

While Habitat is well known for providing a path to affordable homeownership, our programs reach beyond building homes. Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. One way we help build that world is through our critical repair program, helping people like Timothy, who own their home but lack the resources to make critical health and safety repairs.

This year, our goal is to help 41 homeowners with critical repairs. These repairs average $10K-$15K each. Your donation stays right here, in your own community, and right now, your gift will go twice as far, thanks to a generous $20,000 challenge grant from the Maureen and John Ausura Charitable Foundation.

The need for working heat in the middle of winter is clearly critical. Yet often, the solution to these critical needs is not immediate. For some of these repairs, Our Towns Habitat is able to leverage government grants to assist homeowners, but the approval process can be a lengthy one.

For other homeowners, this kind of funding is simply NOT available. Your gift can help fill the gap, allowing us to tackle health and safety repairs with the urgency these homeowners need.

Timothy now has a temporary solution to his need for heat—a donated window heat pump. But we need your help to fully address repairs to his home, and the urgent repair needs of other homeowners living in intolerable conditions.

Will you consider a contribution today to help these homeowners? Every gift, no matter the amount, can help build a world where everyone has a decent place to live—in a home that’s warm, safe and healthy.

To make sure your gift is credited to the Critical Repairs program, please type “Repairs” on the donation form when asked “Where would you like to designate your gift?”

Teamwork, Timing Help Keep Elderly Couple Cool and Safe this Summer

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When Ralph and Edna came to Our Towns Habitat seeking critical repair assistance, the couple, both in their 90s, were facing a choice between two dangerous threats to their health.

They could continue to operate their malfunctioning HVAC unit and risk it leaking carbon monoxide into their home, or they could turn the unit off and face the health risks that extreme heat poses for the elderly.

For Edna, who suffers from breathing issues and uses a portable oxygen tank, and Ralph, who is in a wheelchair and largely confined to the house, these risks are even greater.

Fortunately, Tiylisa, a future Our Towns Habitat homeowner, had been touting Habitat’s programs to her employer, NGK Ceramics, and the company expressed interest in a partnership. NGK Ceramics’ Community Relations Specialist Ashley Golden met with Our Towns Director of Development Courtney Hurd to discuss a proposal for the company to assist with critical repairs in the Statesville area, where the tremendous need for such repairs far outstrips the funding. Hurd shared the personal stories of several Statesville families, including Ralph and Edna, who needed repair help.

Golden was enthusiastic about the proposal, explaining, “We want to help in our community as well as give our members an opportunity to help. We feel like this outreach program will benefit all of us in the future.”

A team from NGK Ceramics eagerly jumped in to help Ralph and Edna. Shortly after the meeting, Golden brought her team—Jeff Link, maintenance manager; Josh Abernethy, maintenance tech; Tamara Harris, purchasing coordinator, and a representative from Trane Systems and Services—to visit the couple in their home. Within days, the source of the problem was identified, the necessary part was installed, and Ralph and Edna have a fully functioning HVAC system to keep them cool this summer.

Ralph and Edna’s daughter, Chris, expressed that her family was grateful that NGK Ceramics and Our Towns Habitat came into their lives, calling it “truly a blessing.”

Golden and her team were also touched by the experience. “It was a pleasure to be able to help such a deserving couple,” Golden said. “You can definitely tell they are a loving family. We at NGK Ceramics look forward to partnering with Habitat for Humanity toward critical repairs in the future.”

Critical Repair Work Expands at Habitat

Habitat is building hope by helping local homeowners stay safe and healthy in their own homes. We have completed 19 repairs since July 1st, with another 18 currently in process meaning we will exceed our goal of 32 repairs for the fiscal year. The funding this year for these projects has come through unrestricted funds, Thrivent Repairs Homes, Realtor Care Day, and Community Development Block Grants in Cornelius and Huntersville. Applicants are in the program anywhere from 6-14 months as we match their need with appropriate funding sources.

To help us meet the need, the Town of Mooresville announced a $50,000 partnership with Our Towns to perform repairs in the town through zero interest loans to the homeowners. The program will begin in July, although we are already taking applications.

But it’s not about the numbers. It’s about improving health and safety and reinvesting hope into our communities. After the completion of her repairs one homeowner wrote, “I don’t have to wrap in blankets and gloves to move around in the house…I don’t have to worry about if my anemia is getting worse because of the coldness in my house.”

 

If you want to be a part of helping to create simple, decent, affordable housing by keeping families in their existing homes donate to Our Towns Habitat today.

If you or someone you know is in need of critical repairs for their home, give us a call at 704-896-8957.

 

Critical Home Repair Brings Hope to Homeowners

My name is David Chapman and I work for Our Towns Habitat in Cornelius. I have been tasked with being the Site Supervisor for the Community Development Block Grant Program or CDBG. Our program is designed to assist homeowners in existing homes do repair work that would otherwise be a cost burden. We use licensed contractors to do the work instead of volunteers allowing for quicker turnaround for the repairs and to be better stewards of the grant funding. This work provides jobs for local contractors.
Homeowners will benefit by having their homes made safer, more up to date, and more sustainable for them in the future. Some of the expected repairs include replacing a roof, a new A/C or heat system; or a bathroom or kitchen remodel.
Each job varies from home to home.

All of the funding for this program comes from the CBDG grant and qualified homeowners will incur no cost for the repairs. The funding is currently limited to Cornelius and Huntersville. We hope to include Davidson, Mooresville, and Statesville in the near future. This will allow us to serve more families in our service area.

If you know of someone who would be interested in this program; please have them call Family Services at our main office in Cornelius at 704-896-8957.

Our Towns Habitat at Work in Statesville and Iredell County

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Family Services works in the Statesville Habitat office 2 days a week Tuesday 8:30-2:30 and Thursday 8:30-4:30. Since the end of November, we’ve met with over 160 families, processed 95 applications and made over 60 referrals to agencies such as I-Care, and USDA for repairs and other non-housing related needs.

During our first 90 days in Statesville we held an information session yielding more than 40 attendees and processed 45 new applications. There is a strong need for repairs in Statesville. We see about 6-10 families a week that are elderly, living in a home with critical repairs that they cannot afford to fix, and living on a fixed income.

Repairs range from broken septic systems, no working water, electrical issues, homes not handicap accessible, roof repairs, broken windows, water damage, and much more. Please help us to continue our work in Statesville.

The Statesville ReStore continues to grow and thrive with new merchandise, donations and shoppers to the store. Interested in volunteering at the Statesville ReStore? They are seeking volunteers during store hours, Tuesday – Saturday 9am-5pm. Contact Dawn Bumgarner, store manager at dawn@ourtownshabitat.org for more information. Read more about the store in the article published in the Statesville Record & Landmark.

Critical Urgent Repairs Impacting Families

Since 2011, 49 Urgent Critical Repairs have been completed in Iredell County. Earlier this year, Our Towns Habitat helped the Guerrero family home in Cleveland, NC.

Ms. Guerrero, a single mother, has a 17 year old son who was paralyzed in an auto accident.

For more than a year, she pushed and pulled him up the stairs to their home. With funds supplied by URP (Urgent Repair Program), Habitat was able to purchase the materials needed for the ramp.  Volunteers from First Baptist Church in Statesville helped construct the handicap ramp and the Guerrero family is very thankful for the support of Our Towns Habitat.