TowneBank, Habitat for Humanity team up in big affordable housing boost

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The development looks much like many others popping up across the Triangle except for one big difference: price.

"Oh gosh, it just means so much," Melanie Drennan said of her home in Crosstowne Community in Raleigh's southeast side. "It's really great."

Crosstowne Community is a collection of dozens of new builds put up by Habitat for Humanity, the non-profit organization dedicated to creating safe neighborhoods that are accessible and affordable to a wide range of incomes.

This month Habitat for Humanity of Wake County is touting its strong partnership with Virginia-based TowneBank, which is investing nearly $2 million in the mortgages of 17 families purchasing homes through the Habitat program in Raleigh.

"When economies grow and thrive, banks grow and thrive," Anne Conner, an executive at TowneBank, tells ABC11. "So our ability to grow and thrive is dependent on communities we serve growing and thriving as well. It's really a very virtuous cycle."

The timing of the investment comes at a critical moment for many low to middle-income families in the Triangle; Wake County this week announced home market values are increasing an average of 20 percent since 2016.

"The problem right now is that home prices are rising faster than incomes and when you have that problem more and more people can't afford a healthy place to live in," Bill Ahern, CEO of Habitat of Wake and Johnson Counties, said. "Last year we built 83 homes, this year we're on pace to build 60. Our plan is to build more going into the future and we hope to announce a several hundred home community."
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