Tag Archives: Habitat for Humanity

Lessons Learned: Affordability, Matters of Land

So much of the narrative around affordable housing development conjures up imagines of raising walls and giving the keys to hardworking new homeowners. And to be honest, this is a huge part.  That homeowner is going to have their life changed, “getting a foot on the ladder” up out of poverty (to borrow an analogy from my Bike & Build teammate, Amy).  It’s an incredible moment for the new homeowner and their family.

Let’s think long-term.  Somewhere down the line, the homeowner might want to move or sell their home, just like any other homeowner.  What’s the problem with that? Continue reading

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Lessons Learned: Invest in Volunteerism

What’s better than a volunteer? A volunteer who can train other volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity is well-known for its use of volunteers.  Many of you have probably swung a hammer or dipped a paintbrush with a local Habitat affiliate. And our  team did a lot of hammering and painting during build days.  After all, when 20 extra able bodies show up to your site, having lots of easy, low-skill work is great.

Take this paint brush.  Paint.  (Of course, being hospitable, Habitat did say ‘Please.’) Continue reading

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Different Ways to Affordable

photo credit: U.S. Navy

Last night I had a great dinner with a couple other city planning PhD students.  It may come as no surprise that cities were among the topics of discussion.

As we were trading our different plans for summer research, writing, biking, etc, I mentioned that I was eager to see how different cities treat affordable housing.  Some cities, like Chapel Hill, have deliberate policies dedicated to affordability.  Other places, like Philadelphia, have vast networks of nonprofits, churches, and community organizations that support affordability in their own ways.   Continue reading

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Building a University Community (Literally)

For today’s Road Ahead post, I wanted to write about something inspirational.  I didn’t have to look any further than the Habitat for Humanity chapter in Orange County, NC – one of the very first stops along the NC2SD Route.  An outstanding effort by the UNC community, Build a Block, raised ten Habitat homes for UNC employees in one year.  I’m curious what my fellow Hoos make of this?  Could UVA try something similar?

This short video features two families who talk about their pursuit of homeownership.  Great stuff!

What will you build? from Katherine Vance on Vimeo.

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