Housing developments in Durham, Garner, Huntersville and Mocksville were honored with Housing North Carolina Awards before 1,000 housing industry professionals last week during the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference in Raleigh.
Sponsored by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the 26-year-old statewide awards recognize outstanding homeownership, rental and supportive housing developments that can serve as models for other communities.
Winning developments were selected for affordability, design, sustainability, community contribution, resident services and creative partnerships. They are:
• Norman Park, Huntersville, a 16-home neighborhood built by Our Towns Habitat for Humanity with support from the town, providing affordable, energy-efficient homes close to local schools and businesses.
• The Bungalows at Southside, Durham, 48 new homes that are part of a major revitalization project of the city.
• Willow Pond, Mocksville, a community of 50 energy-efficient apartments for seniors, overlooking a pond and close to services, which was developed by The Affordable Housing Group of North Carolina, based in Charlotte, and the Wesley Community Development Corporation of Huntersville.
• Timber Spring, Garner, a 48-apartment community for seniors developed by Evergreen Construction in the burgeoning White Oak area.
• Denson Apartments, Durham, 11 permanent apartments for homeless and disabled veterans developed by CASA in partnership with the city of Durham and the Home Depot Foundation, and named for Alex Denson, former chairman of CASA’s board of directors.
The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency that has financed more than 231,000 affordable homes and apartments. The Agency hosts the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference, Oct. 28-29, in partnership with the Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas and the N.C. Housing Coalition.
Norman Park, Huntersville
Bringing life to residential land that sat vacant for 50 years, Norman Park offers Huntersville residents a vibrant neighborhood of 16 affordable homes nestled into a larger community of market-rate housing, schools and businesses. It was developed by Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and the Town of Huntersville.
The land for the 16 homes, as well as 57 other lots, was donated to the Habitat. The Town used $550,000 of Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds to bring utilities to the site. The remaining lots will be developed by the Habitat in the future, or sold to support its work.
The two- and three-bedroom homes average 1,100 square feet and range in price from $81,000 to $89,000. All are built to SystemVision™ standards that keep heating and cooling costs to between $25 and $35 per month. They also are certified by Energy Star and feature energy-efficient appliances.
The homes incorporate universal design features, including large doorways and wide hallways. If a home buyer has a special need due to a medical condition, Our Towns will make the necessary additional modifications.
The homes are affordable to working families thanks to forgivable second mortgages from Our Towns and zero-interest participation loans from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.
Prospective homeowners contribute at least 400 hours of “sweat equity” on their homes, neighbors’ homes or in the local Habitat ReStore. Each also completes 50 hours of homeownership education to ensure they are prepared for all the expenses involved in owning a home, as well as training in home maintenance and repair. Deed restrictions include owner requirements for property maintenance.
With sidewalks and wooded surroundings, Norman Park promotes an active community. The neighborhood is sought after because of its proximity to elementary, middle and high schools, all within one and one-half miles. Several businesses, a hospital and bus line are also easily accessible.
Contact: Rachel Meyers, associate executive director, Our Towns North Mecklenburg Iredell Habitat for Humanity, 704-896-8957.
Assistant to the Manager Bobby Williams, who successfully sought funds on behalf of the project and oversees HOME reporting requirements, and Senior Planner Alison Adams, who oversees the project through the town's planning department joined Our Towns Executive Director Jeff Porter and Assistant Executive Director Rachel Meyers at the ceremony.