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Housing North Carolina Awards Recognize Five Excellent Developments

Press Contact Only:
Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606,
Connie Helmlinger, NCHFA, 919-877-5607,


Five affordable housing developments received Housing North Carolina Awards on Nov. 3 during the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.  Sponsored by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, the awards recognize outstanding affordable properties that can serve as models for other communities. More than 650 people attended the 20th annual awards luncheon.

This year’s winners range from Wilmington to Asheville and include two neighborhoods of energy-efficient homes that are affordable for lower-income buyers.  Other winners include a large apartment development that replaced public housing and a shelter and transitional apartments in two central North Carolina communities that help families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency.      

Housing North Carolina Award winners are:  

  • Barrington Village, a neighborhood of 24 single-family homes in Raleigh, developed by Builders of Hope.
  • Enka Hills, a community of 55 single-family homes in Enka, developed by the Asheville Habitat for Humanity, with funding from the City of Asheville, the Janirve Foundation, and the W&S Charitable Foundation. 
  • The Pointe at Taylor Estates and Robert R. Taylor Senior Homes, adjacent apartment communities for families and seniors in Wilmington, developed by Housing and Economic Opportunities, Inc., with funding from the City of Wilmington.
  • Families Together in Charlotte, townhome apartments for homeless families with children, developed by YWCA Central Carolinas, with funding from the City of Charlotte and Christ Church.
  • Fifth Street Shelter in Statesville, a homeless shelter that was developed by Diakonos, Inc., to replace the longstanding existing shelter.

The winners were selected for affordability; design (attractiveness, energy-efficiency); contribution to the community; sustainability as affordable housing; and features such as services for residents and creative partnerships.

Editor: A description of each winning development and the contact person follows:

Barrington Village, Raleigh
Barrington Village, developed by Builders of Hope, is a first-of-its-kind neighborhood of 24 recycled homes. Builders of Hope moved, rehabilitated and redesigned the donated homes using green building practices, giving them new life for working families. On average, 65 percent of each original structure was reused, saving millions of pounds of waste from the landfill and minimizing the use of new materials. 
 

The homes were positioned to capture passive solar energy. Other green building practices included sealing the homes by replacing windows, increasing insulation and filling all gaps; and using Energy Star appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures and CFL lighting. Barrington Village includes five homes with both Energy Star and SystemVision certification and two NCHealthyBuilt Homes. 

Architecture students from N.C. State University designed the architectural theme and facades for Barrington Village, creating a cohesive streetscape by giving the homes front porches and matching elevations. Each home retains components of the original structure. For example, a home with intact, solid plaster walls was insulated from the outside rather than using drywall. Because the homes were sold prior to the interior renovation, buyers were able to choose floor plans and color palettes. 

Builders of Hope had several local partners. The General Shale Company donated all the brick for the foundation facades and front porch columns. Gifts in Kind International and local Home Depot provided the tile, cherry wood bathroom vanities, mirrors, brushed steel light fixtures, ceiling fans and plumbing fixtures more typically found in market rate homes. 

The $3 million development was privately funded and built to be affordable to households with incomes ranging from $46,150 to $61,500 for a family of four. The homes range from $94,340 to $190,000, with each home selling up to 20 percent below appraised value. Some families received second mortgages from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, the City of Raleigh, and the Federal Home Loan Bank. 

The surrounding community also benefitted from Builder of Hope’s Innovative Work Mentor Program, a green jobs training course for the chronically unemployed. The three-month program provides training in “green collar” construction skills and basic workplace competencies needed to maintain permanent employment. 

Contact: Emily Egge, associate director of development, Builders of Hope, 919-830-6666.
 

Enka Hills, Enka
Enka Hills is a 55-home community developed by the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity that is part of Buncombe County’s master plan for affordable housing. Located near Enka’s athletic park, the homes are designed in the Arts and Crafts style, with full front porches, to reflect other neighborhoods in the Asheville area. 

The homes have two, three and four bedrooms and range in size from 884 to 1,494 square feet. They all incorporate energy efficiency measures, including SystemVision, and all are NCHealthyBuilt Homes. Buyers can purchase an energy-efficient front-loading washer/dryer combo at a substantial discount, and if needed, can finance the purchase through their mortgage at $1.75 per month. 

The homes all have storage units and parking pads. Several homes are handicap-accessible, and the exterior design allows for minor retrofitting to add a ramp should one be needed at a later date.  Homeowners all take a landscaping class through the N.C. Cooperative Extension, and they provided most of the labor for the community’s landscaping. 

The homes were built with the homeowners’ “sweat equity,” as well as with volunteer labor during several Homebuilder Association blitzes. The City of Asheville and the Janirve Foundation provided funding to acquire the site and for infrastructure development, and the W&S Charitable Foundation also contributed.

The homes cost $140,000 to $175,000. The N.C. Housing Finance Agency provided gap financing to the Asheville Area Habitat that provides $25,000 of financing at zero interest for each homeowner. 

Contact: Lewis Kraus, executive director, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, 828-251-5702.

The Pointe at Taylor Estates and Robert R. Taylor Senior Homes, Wilmington
The Pointe at Taylor Estates and Robert R. Taylor Senior Homes are adjacent apartment communities for families and seniors that replace a 70- year-old public housing complex in Wilmington as part of the city’s North Side Revitalization Plan. It is developed by Housing and Economic Opportunities, Inc., the development arm of the Wilmington Housing Authority. Large oak trees line the entrance to the neighborhood, which has been recognized by the City Of Wilmington’s Tree Commission and the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Program for its preservation efforts.

The apartment community is near shops, banks, restaurants, churches, schools and medical and professional services. Transportation is convenient, with a bus stop at the entrance of the development and a free trolley service within walking distance. The surrounding area also includes a police station, a public park and a community pool. 

The Pointe at Taylor Estates is a 48-unit family complex with two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 1,064 to 1,235 square feet.  Apartments feature balconies, lighted ceiling fans, walk-in closets, and washer/dryer hookups.  Security features include touch-tone key pads at each apartment entrance. Residents can use a computer center with free internet access, an exercise room, and a multipurpose room with a kitchen. Outdoor gathering areas include a gazebo, a picnic and grill area, and a playground.  Rents range from $303 to $700.

Robert R. Taylor Senior Homes is a 96-unit senior living development with one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 715 to 943 square feet. Apartments offer the same features as the family complex, including the enhanced security measures. Amenities include four screened porches with rocking chairs and ceiling fans, two game rooms, a community dining room with kitchen, a television room, a library, an exercise room and a computer room. Residents can gather outside at a gazebo or use several garden plots to plant flowers and vegetables. Rents range from $249 to $595.

Irrigation is supplied to both communities by an onsite well to reduce costs, and an underground storm system maintains the natural landscape, eliminating the need for high-maintenance retention ponds. The brick and vinyl apartment buildings get a coastal look from metal roof accents. 

The development was financed with a loan from the City of Wilmington and federal and state housing credits awarded by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. 

Contact: Glenn Floyd, Housing and Economic Opportunities, Inc., 910-341-7700, ext. 228.

Families Together, Charlotte
Families Together is a community of 10 townhomes in Charlotte that provides transitional housing for homeless families while they work toward permanent housing.  Developed by YWCA Central Carolinas, homes are located in a residential neighborhood on the YWCA’s main campus and are part of Charlotte’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

The townhomes range from three-bedroom units with 1,208 square feet to four-bedroom ones with 1,433 square feet.  The YWCA provides access to case management, computer instruction, career counseling and job training programs, financial planning services and recreational opportunities. Staff members help each family create an individual development plan to help them become self-sufficient within two years. 

Residents must work, and Families Together offers an after-school program on its main campus for children who live in the development. The townhomes rent for 30 percent of a family’s income. Most families receive rental vouchers from the Charlotte Housing Authority.

YWCA owns the land for the townhomes, which also received financing from the N.C. Housing Trust Fund and the City of Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund. In addition, the development received financing through the YWCA’s multi-year “More Than a Roof!” capital campaign and from Christ Church’s Capital Campaign. 

Contact: Kirsten D. Sikkelee, CEO, YWCA Central Carolinas, 704-525-5770.

Fifth Street Shelter, Statesville
By raising more than $4 million in grants, foundation contributions and private donations, Diakonos, Inc., and the citizens of Statesville were able to replace the town’s longstanding shelter with the new Fifth Street Shelter. The new 152-bed shelter includes a larger kitchen and dining area, a training room, and two conference rooms. It serves the community’s homeless, many of whom have HIV/AIDS, substance abuse problems, and physical, mental or developmental disabilities.
 

Fifth Street includes separate men’s and women’s shelters that offer two levels of accommodations. In Level One, guests may check in between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. and get a hot shower, access to laundry facilities and a bed, but must leave the property the next morning after breakfast. Guests can move into Level Two and stay onsite by agreeing to perform chores related to the upkeep of the building and maintenance of the shelter’s programs. The shelter also includes two family units that each have a living area and three bedrooms and are joined together by a playroom. 

Guests can set goals with a case manager. Once they have made progress toward the goals, they can apply for a work program and life skills classes, such as budgeting and how to act in an interview. 

Shelter guests receive three meals a day. The dining room serves up to 300 meals a day, also hosting community neighbors who do not have access to food. Onsite nurses provide medical care and make referrals to the community health center as needed.  The nurses also access mental health care, substance abuse treatment and other support services for guests. 

Since 2008, the number of individuals served has increased by 12 percent, with the number of families up 47 percent. Soup kitchen numbers are up 24 percent. The shelter received financing from the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund as well as community fund-raising efforts.            

Contact: Gary West, executive director, Diakonos, Inc., 704-872-6282.

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The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 191,000 affordable homes and apartments in the last three decades, including nearly 80,000 homes for first-time home buyers. To learn more, go to www.nchfa.com or call 919-877-5700 or 800-393-0988.