To qualify for a Habitat home, applicants need to have lived or worked in Orange County for the past year and demonstrate stable income for the past two years. In addition, they need to earn 30 to 60% of the area median income and demonstrate good credit. Applicants must have overcrowded, cost-burdened, subsidized, or substandard housing to qualify for a Habitat home. To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent legal immigration status. Prospective homeowners must put in 325 hours of “sweat equity” labor building their homes and the homes of their neighbors. When their home is complete, they pay closing costs and repay an affordable mortgage, usually over 30 years.
Habitat accepts applications for homeownership seasonally depending on our fall and spring construction schedule. Families interested in homeownership are encouraged to attend a Habitat Homeownership Orientation. Applications will be available at these orientation sessions, as well as at our office and other community locations. Please sign up below to join our homeownership interest list, and we will let you know about upcoming opportunities.
Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program helps low-income homeowners repair the exterior of their homes. Families that qualify pay a small portion of their repair costs using a sliding scale payment plan.
Past repairs have included landscaping and yard clean-up, exterior painting, siding repairs or cleaning, repairing porches or decks, repairing or replacing exterior doors, and repairing or installing ramps and handrails.
Norbert Runyambo and Laurence Mukabatsinda are originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The family left for a refugee camp in Rwanda due to the genocide taking place in their home country. Ten years ago they moved to Maine, and then decided to relocate to North Carolina because of the weather and the increased educational and career opportunities for their children.
In the Congo, Laurence worked for a nonprofit that served women and orphans. Currently, she works as a nanny. Norbert was the Medical Director for South Kivu, a province of five million people. When he moved to the United States, he could not transfer his license as a physician, so he helped people who had disabilities in their homes. Now Norbert is retired, and spends his time with his family, and on the Habitat construction site—he has already completed 250 of his family’s required 325 hours of sweat equity! He plans to continue volunteering with Habitat even after their home is finished.
Norbert and Laurence have eight children—Esther, Daniella, Gentille, Paul, Michee, Loetitia, Jonathan, and Lydia. They also host their niece, Joelle, for part of the summer. The family is close knit, and Norbert and Laurence have encouraged their children to pursue their education. Many of the children take after their father’s interest in medicine, and some have expressed interest in economics, mechanical engineering, and computer science.
The family currently lives in Chapel Hill in a three-bedroom apartment. There are always at least eight people in the apartment, so space is tight. The family has always wanted a home, and they feel that it is especially important to feel settled after having lived as refugees. In addition, renting is very expensive and they will save money by having a Habitat home. The children want a stable place for their parents to live. In the future, they hope to take their own children there to visit.
Since 2008, Habitat has built green-certified homes. Habitat incorporates green building into site design and development, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and homeowner education.
Each new home built by Habitat is evaluated by a third-party inspector, Southern Energy Management, to ensure it meets Advanced Energy's SystemVision program standards and Home Innovation Research Labs criteria so that each home can earn a Home Innovation NGBS Green Certification.
Habitat is currently building and repairing homes in downtown Chapel Hill's Northside neighborhood.
Habitat has built 50 homes and completed multiple repairs in Hillsborough.
Habitat will resume building in Tinnin Woods in the Fall of 2017.