Habitat for Humanity building blitz taking place in Raleigh

Jamiese Price Image
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Habitat for Humanity builders blitz taking place in Raleigh
The program started back in 2002.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mary Starke can barely contain her excitement. She's just days away from being a first-time homeowner.

"I just thought that I wasn't going to be able to be in the housing market as a millennial and just the way the economy is and the way the housing market is," Starke said.

But that all changed when she learned about Habitat for Humanity's home-buying program. And now she's watching her home being built from the ground up.

"I wasn't in that place. You know, I didn't have the money to go over the asking price for a home. So Habitat is really my doorway into that," said Starke as she stood outside of her future home.

Her home is one of four being built during Habitat for Humanity's Building Blitz, an event started in Raleigh in 2002 and now implemented in Habitat for Humanity programs across the country.

"We partner with for-profit builders, there are eight of them this time. We're building four houses in one week. So it's kind of hard to get a house up in one week. It's not common, but we have a little bit of a formula for getting it done," said Patricia Burch, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Wake County.

This program comes as some families in Wake County struggle to find affordable homes.

"The way that we help the community with affordable housing is that we sell all of our houses at appraisal value, but we do financing that makes them affordable. So we check and make sure that every payment is not more than 30% of the family's income," said Burch.

The building companies are also volunteering their time, including James Cregger of Rock Creek Builders.

"It seems fun to try to figure out if you can build a house in a way. But also just giving back when we can and being available to help other families in need. And that, for me, is important," said Cregger.

It's helping to make homeowner dreams come true.

"This will be their first home and it just creates stability in their lives. Once you have stable housing, you have better education for kids, you have better health and you're just your life becomes much easier because you're not having to worry about where to live and if you can afford it," said Burch.

Habitat is building 114 homes in a southeast Raleigh subdivision on Old Poole Place dedicated to first-time home buyers.

"People in my generation that might be thinking I can't afford a home, there are affordability programs out there, and you should seek them out because if you want a home, you deserve that," Starke said.