Six affordable housing developments received Housing North Carolina Awards on Nov. 15 at the 18th annual awards luncheon in Raleigh. Sponsored by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, the awards recognize excellent properties that can serve as models for other communities.
Winners ranged from supported apartments for developmentally disabled adults in Elizabeth City to green-built condominiums in downtown Asheville. Other winners are a Habitat for Humanity subdivision in Mooresville that includes Universal Design and “green” building features; a shelter for homeless families and domestic violence survivors in Elkin; mixed-income apartments for families in Charlotte and apartments for seniors in Conover.
Award winners are:
- Eddy Place in Mooresville, developed by Our Towns Habitat for Humanity with land donated by local residents Paul and Judy Leonard and support from the Town of Mooresville.
- Prospect Terrace in Asheville, developed by Mountain Housing Opportunities, with help from the City of Asheville and the State Energy Office.
- Park at Cline Village in Conover, developed by Western North Carolina Housing Partnership, Inc., with support from the City of Conover.
- Rivermere Apartments in Charlotte, developed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and the Charlotte Housing Authority, with support from the City of Charlotte.
- Benjamin House in Elizabeth City, supported apartments for young adults with developmental disabilities, developed by the Benjamin House, Inc., under the leadership of local residents Ann Parke Hughes and Lennie Hughes.
- The Ark in Elkin, developed by ECHO Ministry with broad community support.
The winners were selected for their potential to serve as models for other communities. Criteria included affordability; design (attractiveness, energy-efficiency); contribution to the community; sustainability as affordable housing; and features such as services for residents and creative partnerships.
The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. Since its creation in 1973, the agency has financed more than 176,000 affordable homes and apartments.
Eddy Place, Mooresville
Eddy Place is a Habitat for Humanity community of 29 homes in Mooresville built by Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. The homes use a combination of Universal Design and “green” building for comfort and affordability. Eddy Place offers three-bedroom, two-bath homes ranging from 952 to 1,060 square feet. Homeowners’ total monthly housing cost is below $650.
The homes feature vinyl siding with brick or stone. They include Universal Design features such as elevated electrical outlets, wide doorways and halls, and task lighting. The homes also are designed to be as “green” as possible by including Energy Star appliances, tankless water heaters, and low-bleed insulation. In addition, most of the homes are certified by SystemVision, guaranteeing homeowners low utility costs.
While the market value of the homes ranges from $85,000 to $125,000, the average selling price is below $62,000. Zero-interest first mortgage loans and deferred second mortgages keep the mortgage payment below $400.
The land for Eddy Place was donated by Paul and Judy Leonard of Mooresville. The Town of Mooresville contributed $125,000 for infrastructure improvements. Funding for the homes came from individuals and local businesses, churches and corporations, and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
Since the houses were fully funded prior to construction, mortgage repayments from current Habitat homeowners pay the cost for five new houses per year. Our Towns also continues to invest in its neighborhoods by monitoring the appearance of the homes, suggesting improvements and holding free classes on maintenance.
Plaques were presented to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, Paul and Judy Leonard, and the Town of Mooresville.
Contact: Terry Laney, Executive Director, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, 704-896-8957, ext. 1103.
Prospect Terrace, Asheville
Prospect Terrace is a mixed-income neighborhood of 17 condominiums and cottages in the West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN) near downtown Asheville. Developed by Mountain Housing Opportunities, the homes use “green” building techniques to optimize affordability, comfort, safety and aesthetics.
Prospect Terrace homes have one to three bedrooms and range from 750 to 1,530 square feet. Fifteen of the homes are new construction and two are renovated. Prospect Terrace was the first Healthy Built Homes Project in North Carolina. It received a $25,000 award from Home Depot for “green” building. Features include solar panels on six homes, low flow water fixtures, rain barrels, whole house fans, programmable thermostats, and carpet and decking made from recycled materials. In addition, nine homes are enrolled in a local utility program that guarantees heating and cooling costs for two years.
Prospect Terrace is part of the WECAN revitalization plan and used neighborhood meetings to reach consensus on design. The community is located on the city public transit line, with a bus shelter built by the developer in an adjacent park. In addition, the neighborhood is walking distance from restaurants, a recreation center, schools, a 10-acre urban forest, and various social services.
The homes range from $95,000 to $150,000, with 11 being sold to households with incomes below 80% of the area median. The City of Asheville invested more than $200,000 for infrastructure, and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency provided deferred, zero-interest second mortgage loans for some of the families.
Plaques were presented to Mountain Housing Opportunities, the City of Asheville and the State Energy Office.
Contact: Scott Dedman, Executive Director, Mountain Housing Opportunities, 828-254-4030
Park at Cline Village, Conover
The Park at Cline Village in Conover contains 48 apartments for seniors. Developed by Western North Carolina Housing Partnership, Inc., it is part of a 300-acre development that will include single family homes, an elementary school, a fire station, a church, and shopping. The apartments were designed to look like a row of townhouses to blend in with the traditional architecture of the surrounding neighborhood. The apartments feature raised front porches with a door to the street, while handicapped access is available in the back, along with the parking lot.
The one- and two-bedroom apartments are certified to Energy Star standards and range from 630 to 890 square feet. Amenities include a library and a community room, a community front porch with rocking chairs, a gazebo and picnic shelter. There is also a playground for grandchildren, a garden courtyard, and a vegetable garden. The development includes six fully accessible apartments, and all units are adaptable for full accessibility.
Rents range from $377 to $550. The development was financed with a bank loan, federal HOME funds, federal and state housing credits, and a loan from the City of Conover.
Plaques were presented to the Western North Carolina Housing Partnership, Inc., and the City of Conover.
Contact: David Covington or Jeanne Price, Western North Carolina Housing Partnership, (828) 287-2281.
Developed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Rivermere is a family apartment community in Charlotte that mixes 100 affordable units with 92 market rate apartments. The affordable apartments are scattered throughout the development, successfully integrating families at all income levels. Rivermere is close to shopping and restaurants.
The two- and three-bedroom, two-bath apartments range from 886 to 1,101 square feet. The apartments include washer and dryer hookups, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, private decks and porches with outside storage, walk-in closets, and security systems. The buildings are a combination of brick and vinyl siding, and each features a different color. Amenities include a community room, playground, business center and fitness center.
Rivermere provides a host of family activities not often found in affordable housing, including breakfast delivered at curbside to all residents for Halloween; a movie night and babysitting at Christmas; and a Summer Fiesta with food, games and a disc jockey. Rivermere has forged a strong relationship with local police, who occasionally host a “Meet Your Officers Night” in the neighborhood.
Rents range from $247 to $770. The development was financed with money from Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund, HUD Hope VI funds through Charlotte Housing Authority, tax-exempt bonds, and federal housing credits.
Plaques were presented to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, the City of Charlotte, and the Charlotte Housing Authority.
Contact: Patricia G. Garrett, President, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, (704) 342-0933.
Benjamin House, Elizabeth City
Benjamin House in Elizabeth City is a unique 12-bedroom group home for young adults with developmental disabilities. The idea for the home originated with Ann Parke Hughes, who wanted to ensure a place to live for her son Benjamin and others with similar needs. Ann Parke and Lennie Hughes secured broad community support for all aspects of the development and operation of Benjamin House. Donations included the land, funding for the water, sewer and site work, the facility’s flooring, furnishings, and building supplies. The courtyard has a “Peace Garden,” which was created by a local Girl Scout as her Gold Award project.
An innovative construction method of pouring concrete in Styrofoam forms provides energy efficiency and sound insulation for the development. Natural lighting and solar tubes throughout the building also boost energy efficiency, and 9-foot high ceilings contribute to the airiness of the space.
Each bedroom is 217 square feet and has a private bathroom and walk-in closet. Residents are able to use a dental hygiene room with equipment donated by a local dentist and a meditation chapel funded by a community member, with an antique altar donated by a local church. Other amenities include screened-in porches and a large game room.
In addition to private contributions, which covered almost half of the development cost, Benjamin House received financing from the N.C. Housing Trust Fund and grants from several foundations including the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
Plaques were presented to Lennie and Ann Parke Hughes and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. In addition, a plaque was given that recognizes the friends and family of Benjamin Braxton Hughes. It will be placed at Benjamin House.
Contact: Ann Parke Hughes, Benjamin House, Inc., (252) 337-7171.
The Ark, Elkin
The Ark in Elkin is a shelter that serves homeless individuals and families and survivors of domestic violence. Developed by ECHO Ministry, the project garnered extraordinary support from the community, which raised 58 percent of the funds for the development, donated all furnishings and equipment, and now supports the operation of the shelter with donations and volunteers.
The Ark is 4,183 square feet and includes three bedrooms with 9 beds for single women and four family bedrooms that accommodate up to 16 parents and children. The shelter was designed to look like a large single family home, including a front porch with rocking chairs. Common areas include a large kitchen, a playroom, and a playground.
ECHO Ministry provides supportive services for homeless families and single women. The Ark residents develop short and long-term goals, such as finding permanent housing and employment, enrolling children in school, obtaining a GED for adults, and accessing financial assistance. The Ark’s services include providing transportation for goal-related activities, referrals for medical, dental, and mental health needs, substance abuse counseling, housing search, budgeting training, family reunification, and legal assistance.
In addition to funds raised by the community, financing for The Ark came from the N.C. Housing Trust Fund and grants.
A plaque was presented to ECHO Ministry. In addition, a plaque was given in honor of the efforts of the citizens of Elkin. It will be placed at The Ark.
Contact: Laura Overbey, Interim Director, ECHO Ministry, (336) 527-1637.
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The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 176,000 affordable homes and apartments in the last three decades, including nearly 74,000 homes for first-time home buyers.. To learn more, go to http://www.nchfa.com/ or call 919-877-5700 or 800-393-0988.