Neighborhood Revitalization

Since 1989 Habitat for Humanity of Craven County has been one of the leading affordable housing agencies in the county, building 70 affordable homes that have changed the lives of many residents. As affordable housing needs in the area have increased and more communities are in distress, homeowner needs have “evolved”. In an effort to address these needs Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is “at the forefront of change”, taking a holistic approach to Neighborhood Revitalization.  Through their quality of life framework, Habitat’s all over the world seek to transform communities through empowering local residents to lead their communities in planning and implementing plans which bring about positive change and outcomes they desire for their neighborhood.

Neighborhood Revitalization is our way of reaching more families in our service area. We realize that providing safe, healthy, affordable housing is more than building new homes. It also means preserving the housing stock available through repairs and rehabilitation. Through neighborhood improvement projects community strength, resiliency and unity are built while helping restore pride for homeowners and the pride residents have for their communities. Our Neighborhood Revitalization program includes Critical Repairs, A Brush with Kindness, and working with communities to facilitate social cohesion, community unity, and collective action, as well as, positive community development and growth. Through Neighborhood Revitalization Habitat for Humanity of Craven County partners with residents, resource providers, faith communities, local government and neighborhood associations to develop and carry out a shared vision derived from needs identified by the community. Through Neighborhood Revitalization communities are empowered to take ownership of their neighborhood and have pride in where they live; hence, helping to improve their quality of life.

“Neighborhood Revitalization is the way of the future and is an essential element of Habitat’s work. By focusing on entire neighborhoods, we can greatly increase our impact.”

-  Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity International

Focus Community Spotlight: Greater Duffyfield

As a part of our annual strategic plan, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County establishes a community in dire need of revitalization. This year, our focus community is one that has become known as The Greater Duffyfield community. Over the years, the name of this area has historically changed with each development plan presented to revitalize the area. This area includes neighborhoods known to the local community as Duffyfield, Five Points, Dryborough, Craven Terrace, Trent Court and Walt Bellamy. All are a part of what is now identified as The Greater Duffyfield community and encompass the largest historically black community in New Bern. For many years, this community has felt overlooked, underserved and that they are not a true partner in the planning of their community’s future.

Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is dedicated to working with The Greater Duffyfield community to help improve quality of life and engagement through promoting a sense of pride and identity among its residents. This includes educating, guiding and empowering residents so that they are able to develop a long-term community vision which includes planning to make their vision reality and increased involvement in local government decision making. From this effort The New Bern People’s Assembly has developed out of this community with goals of addressing access to affordable housing, access to improved employment opportunities and preserving a local cornerstone of the community, Stanley White Recreation Center. These goals were set by the community based upon their community vision as they continue to build partnerships with outside stakeholders and agencies who’s resources can assist with improving quality of life.

Critical Home Repair

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence Habitat for Humanity of Craven County’s Critical Repair program sought to help survivors unable to afford damages to their homes caused by Hurricane Florence. Since that time, through this program, 26 families have returned to safe, healthy housing. As recovery continues in Craven County this program continues to address the urgent needs of survivors.

Through Critical Repairs Habitat for Humanity of Craven County can assist families with the following types of repairs:

  • Carpentry
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Joist work
  • Roofing
  • Connecting disaster survivors to resources to meet needs outside of home repair which help make their house a home again

Although efforts have been focused on helping survivors of disasters return home, this program will remain and continue to help low-income families who need assistance to make their home a safe, affordable place to live. This does not include cosmetic changes to the home but does include making a home more accessible for disabled homeowners and elderly homeowners (Aging in Place).

To be eligible for this program homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Be able to prove homeownership
  • Taxes must be current
  • Have an AMI between 0%-80% showing an inability to afford to complete repairs on their own
  • Have critical repair needs which keep their home from meeting code standards
  • Repairs to homes affected by disaster cannot exceed 51% of the value of the home
  • Repairs to homes not affected by disasters should not exceed 20% of the value of the home.
  • Families must be willing to partner and show an ability to pay for a percentage of the repairs completed. This percentage is dependent upon income.

*Family need will be evaluated on a case by case basis and depend upon funding*

If you need assistance completing home repairs, please complete an application and return to the Habitat for Humanity of Craven County office located at 321 Fleet St. New Bern, NC 28562 with all supporting documentation requested.

A Brush with Kindness (ABWK)

Nobility can be found in building a new home but Neighborhood Revitalization is transformational work. It supports Habitat for Humanity of Craven County’s efforts to transform entire community’s one home, one block and one neighborhood at a time. Through Neighborhood Revitalization we are able to tailor this great work to the dreams and goals of residents. As a result, we rely on civic groups, neighborhood organizations, and churches in communities served to take leadership roles so that we can ensure work continues after we move forward to assist other neighborhoods.

Habitat for Humanity of Craven County recognizes that not all families need extensive repairs. There are some who need smaller repairs that will help preserve their home. Through A Brush with Kindness communities are brought together so that neighbors can help neighbors. Through this program, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is able to assist families with the following exterior repairs:

  • Painting
  • Patching areas of concern
  • Landscaping
  • Replacement of outside materials for the purpose of maintaining good/sound condition.

To be eligible for this program homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Be able to prove homeownership
  • Taxes must be current
  • Have an AMI between 0%-60% showing an inability to complete repairs on their own
  • Repairs should not exceed 5% of the average cost of a new Habitat home in the area ($5,000)
  • Families must be willing to partner and show an ability to pay for a percentage of the repairs completed. This percentage is dependent upon income
  • Families must reside in the designated focus community

*Family need will be evaluated on a case by case basis and depend upon funding*

If you need assistance with minor repairs and landscaping, please complete an application and return to the Habitat for Humanity of Craven County office located at 321 Fleet St., New Bern with all supporting documentation requested.

Weatherization

For many families cost-burdened with home expenses, energy costs create difficulty providing the basic need of affordable housing. Helping families save on the cost of utility consumption aligns with Habitat’s mission to help families achieve affordable homeownership. As a result of this need, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is dedicated to improving home efficiency by providing weatherization repairs. This process begins by completing an application, and if found eligible, allowing Habitat for Humanity of Craven County to complete an energy audit which identifies areas of concern.

Through weatherization assistance, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is able to assist families with the following:

  • Repair/install of insulation
  • Sealing drafty windows and doors that impact efficiency
  • Repairing pipes and/or ductwork
  • Insulating pipes
  • Installing programmable thermostats
  • Repairs to an existing HVAC system
  • Installing an updated HVAC system.

To be eligible for this program homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Be able to prove homeownership
  • Taxes must be current
  • Have an AMI between 0%-60% showing an inability to complete repairs on their own
  • Repairs should not exceed 10% of the average cost of a new Habitat home in the area ($10,000)
  • Families must be willing to partner and show an ability to pay for a percentage of the repairs completed. This percentage is dependent upon income.

*Family need will be evaluated on a case by case basis and depend upon funding*

If you need assistance with weatherization repairs, please complete an application and return to the Habitat for Humanity of Craven County office located at 321 Fleet St., New Bern with all supporting documentation requested.

Aging in Place

As many people age, their needs change based upon health and mobility. For many this may entail having to leave their home to be in an environment that has been adapted to meet needs which will allow them to continue meeting activities of daily living (ADL). Unfortunately, for those in their “golden years”, there are limited resources available that can assist in completing renovations to their home which will adapt their home to meet current needs.

According to seniorliving.org Aging in Place is “…a person making a conscious decision to stay in the inhabitation of their choice for as long as they can with the comforts that are important to them.” Allowing residents in their “golden years” to remain at home as they age has also be proven to improve quality of life which aligns with the goal of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. With the county’s we serve being large retirement communities, it is essential that we continue to incorporate assistance for our elderly population into the work we do. Through Aging in Place assistance, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is able to assist families with the following:

  • Installing grab bars
  • Installing/Securing Handrails to improve accessibility and mobility
  • Changing door knobs to door levers
  • Changing faucets to lever faucets
  • Installing handheld and/or slide bar showerheads.
  • Repairing/Installing wheelchair ramps
  • Assisting with meeting other accessibility/weatherization/home repair improvements needed for the homeowner to age in place

To be eligible for this program homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Be able to prove homeownership
  • Taxes must be current
  • Be 62+ or have a family member living in the home who is 62+
  • Have an AMI between 0%-80%, establishing need for assistance
  • Families must be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Craven County
  • *Family need will be evaluated on a case by case basis and depend upon funding*

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