In late 1982, a member of Binkley Baptist Church made the congregation aware of the opportunity for ecumenical cooperation to provide decent housing for residents in the area through Habitat. In February 1983, then Associate Minister Ed Huggins wrote to other ministers to create a study group and see the feasibility of starting an affiliate in Orange County. Subsequent meetings through 1983 at various churches in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough resulted in an agreement to seek incorporation and to become a Habitat affiliate. As of April 1984, when Habitat for Humanity of Orange County was officially incorporated, there were only 25 or so Habitat affiliates in the United States.

The first Habitat home in Orange County was a donated home that was moved to what is now known as the Chestnut Oaks neighborhood in Chapel Hill and rehabbed. Raising funds to build an entire home was a challenge for a new nonprofit. For three years, volunteers bartered for building supplies, including $30k worth of donated carpet. We have come a long way since that first home. Habitat has since constructed homes in ten neighborhoods across Orange County. For the first few years, we relied solely on volunteers to build one home per year. During the last fiscal year alone, hundreds of volunteers helped build 16 new homes with the support of full time construction staff.

In 2024, Orange Habitat is celebrating its 40th year as an affiliate. See below for some exciting milestones over the past 40 years, and to hear from some of the folks involved with the organization over time.

Our History

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is founded

For the first five years of Orange Habitat’s history, it was solely run by volunteer efforts. Materials were traded to get the needed supplies to build the first few homes.

40 Voices of Orange Habitat

In 2024, Orange Habitat celebrates 40 years as an affiliate. We are looking back and collecting the stories of 40 donors, volunteers, homeowners, and community members who have been part of our mission since 1984. Meet some of the people who have been part of Orange Habitat’s history!

Tell Us Your Habitat Story!

We want to hear your stories! Fill out the form below to share with us your Habitat story.

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