Hickory – Spring has arrived, and so has the beginning of Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley’s building season! With each new house start, Habitat is hard at work ensuring families throughout the Catawba Valley can build strength,Habitat For Humanity Of Catawba Valley Kicks Off Spring Building Season stability, and self-reliance through shelter.

Work continues in Habitat’s newest neighborhood – The Cottages at Ridgeview – located along the intersection of 1st St SE and 3rd Ave SE in the Ridgeview neighborhood of Hickory. The development marks Habitat Catawba Valley’s first-ever neighborhood revitalization project. The blueprint involves a return to infill housing – or the practice of building new homes in older existing neighborhoods, combined with critical repairs on already existing homes to keep current residents safe, warm, and dry.

The Cottages at Ridgeview replaces old, abandoned houses with new, energy efficient homes built in their place. The neighborhood consists of traditional Habitat homes, which provide lower-income applicants a pathway to affordable homeownership through a zero-profit mortgage, financial education courses, and sweat equity. Homes will also be available to the public, with the goal of serving purchasers who can afford a traditional bank loan, but can’t afford the average cost of housing the in Catawba County. Finally Habitat will target existing neighborhood homes in need of critical repairs, preserving homeowner equity while keeping the owners safe, warm and dry. In total, this plan involves the construction of 7 new homes and the completion of 30 repaired homes overall.

Throughout the pandemic, Habitat’s public operations have looked different with the inability to use volunteers in a traditional way, but the organization remains hard at work building homes, communities, and hope. In 2020, Habitat completed 161 critical repairs, received 141 homeownership inquiries and turned over 4 set of keys to new homeowners!

Habitat’s contribution goes beyond building and preserving homeownership. A recent economic impact analysis found that for every $1 invested into Habitat Catawba Valley, Habitat injected $1.57 back into the local economy. In a year when the local economy needed help weathering the pandemic, Habitat invested $1,078, 983 into Catawba County.

Habitat is building on the 2020 momentum as it kicks off the spring construction season. Due to public health precautions, Habitat Catawba Valley is currently limiting volunteer opportunities; however, as COVID continue to improve, the housing ministry looks forward to resuming a more regular volunteer schedule later this summer. For updates, visit: www.habitatcatawbavalley.org