File this under “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”: Builders of Hope, a Raleigh, North Carolina non-profit, moves home slated for demolition into new neighborhoods, fixes them up, and sells them to working families. The program is so successful, it is expanding into New Orleans and Dallas, Texas.
“Our solution is unique,” said Founder and CEO Nancy Murray, a former developer who started Builders of Hope three years ago. “We incorporate economic, environmental and social solutions into our process.”
The renovations made by Builders of Hope’s 50 employees usually comprise of adding insulation, high performance windows, and efficient appliances, lighting, and HVAC equipment. Utility bills for their homes average less than $50 per month.
The organization provides job opportunities for the historically unemployed, at-risk-youth, and the homeless. Homes are sold at cost, as funding is furnished through grants and private donations. “Builders of Hope is not only offering affordable housing, but unlimited possibilities to Project New Build participants,” said Jeremy Boyd, a case manager for the Capital Area Workforce Development Board. “These young people are prepared to enter the workforce with a new motivation.”
The mentor program provides supervised education to participants through on-the-job training. Local rescue missions provide opportunities to the people they serve, and the paid positions offer many a second chance.
The revitalized homes do more than provide people a place to live; Builders of Hope builds neighborhoods. Through home ownership, owners take pride in their homes and the surrounding community. This leads to reduced crime, improved public safety, and helps build the local tax base, providing more services in areas where they are desperately needed.
Photo courtesy of Builders of Hope.