A Day of Service: MLK Build Day

January 23, 2024

Last week, we hosted a special build day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of service. We had a tremendous turnout of individuals. They represented various sorority and fraternity groups, faith backgrounds, and youth from UNC and local high school clubs. Volunteers heard from Habitat leadership during the lunch program. They shared about Dr. King’s impact on housing and the work we still have ahead of us to create equitable opportunities for homeownership.  

Dr. King was one of the most prominent Civil Rights leaders. He advocated for justice and equal rights for all. Through this work, he had a profound impact in supporting fair housing. Black Americans were systematically deprived of quality housing. They were routinely and openly excluded from living in certain areas. From 1965 to 1966, Dr. King co-led the Chicago Freedom Movement. The movement aimed to challenge discrimination in areas including housing. This campaign led to some early wins. These wins led to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, passed after his assassination. This law prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing. Discrimination is based on race, skin color, sex, nationality, or religion.

At Orange Habitat, we are diving deeper into the local barriers to homeownership. In Orange County, the general homeownership rate for white families is 68%. For Black families, it’s only 39%. Recently, we have implemented various initiatives to support Black families, such as improving access to information about the application process, building relationships with community organizations to support Black applicants, and partnering with other organizations to provide credit counseling. 

Click here to learn more about Dr. King’s impact on housing.