Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (HHOC) changes lives by bringing together God’s people and resources to help families in need build and own quality affordable homes in safe and supportive communities.
Habitat invites people from all walks of life to work together in partnership to build houses with families. Habitat for Humanity is not a charity or a give-away program. Habitat for Humanity offers homeownership to Orange County families who otherwise may not have the opportunity to own a home of their own. Volunteer labor is used to build homes to keep costs low for Habitat families. Families pay closing costs and invest 325 hours of labor into building their own homes and the homes of others. Habitat provides a zero-interest mortgage ranging between $75,000 and $120,000 and homeowners pay monthly mortgage payments of around $615 directly to Habitat. As Habitat homeowners pay their mortgages, the money is used to help build homes with other families. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County also contributes to building Habitat homes overseas by tithing a “home for a home.” For every home built in Orange County, HHOC tithes $4,500, the cost to build a Habitat home internationally. Since our start in 1984, HHOC has built more than 200 homes locally and more than 140 homes internationally.
Staff and our volunteer Family Selection Committee reviews the applications and recommends families to the Board of Directors based on need, willingness to become partners in the program, and ability to repay the no-interest mortgage. Habitat does not consider race, religion, or ethnic background when choosing partner families.
In Orange County, it costs about $78,000 in materials and limited subcontracted labor to construct one Habitat home. The typical home we build is 1100 square feet with three bedrooms and one to one and a half baths. These homes are simple, attractive, and safe. Homes are built to Energy Star/Systems Visions standards and current builds will be certified green. They also have universal design features to assist home-owners who may have limited physical abilities. Fire-safety sprinkler systems are installed in every home. The homes are affordable to families who earn between 30-60% the area median income because: volunteer labor is contributed; no profit is included in the sale of the house; and no interest is charged on the mortgage. The mortgages are financed over a 20-30 year period.
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County relies on your support to build homes with working families. Habitat uses local government funds such as community development block grants to build infrastructure or buy land, but individuals, corporations and small businesses, foundations, and houses of worship, provide the majority of funds needed.
Yes. In Orange County a home sold for an average of $325,000 in 2011. Rents are equally prohibitive: an average two-bedroom apartment goes for $785 per month. Over the last fifteen years, Orange County has grown very quickly and this has placed a strain on our housing market. Because of the high demand for housing and limited land available on which to build new homes, decent housing options for a family living on a modest income are extremely limited. These families also have a very difficult time finding housing near Orange County’s major employment centers, such as UNC-CH and UNC Hospitals.
They are people you know, children your children go to school with, people you see or work with everyday. A typical Habitat family earns 30-60% the area median income. Prior to building their Habitat home, these hardworking families spent at least one-third to one-half of their income on rent for a cramped apartment. Those who spent less of their income on rent lived in houses, apartments, or trailers that could only be described as substandard. Many have had to suffer through living conditions that included: overcrowding, rotting floors, inadequate or non-existent heating systems, contaminated drinking water, and no indoor plumbing. Because owning a home can be a challenge, Habitat requires future homeowners to attend individualized educational workshops which cover financial budgeting, community-building, and basic home maintenance and repair. With the security of a decent, safe home, Habitat families are able to turn their attention to improving other areas of their lives such as seeking more education, job training, and better employment. Children often achieve better performance in school.
There are many different ways that you can support Habitat. In addition to volunteering on the worksite, you can also be a part of, or organize, a partnership. Partnerships are groups of people, often churches, schools, and social clubs, who collectively raise funds toward a Habitat home ($50,000) and supply the volunteers to help build the home with the family. Your donations are also welcome and greatly needed. To make a donation, contact Katie Thompson at 919-932-7077 ext. 218 or email Katie. For more information on getting involved, please contact our Partnership and Volunteer Manager, Alice Jacoby, at 919-932-7077 ext. 216 or email Alice.