SECU Habitat Challenge Completed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
North Carolina’s Habitat for Humanity Affiliates and the SECU Foundation Accomplish First-of-its-Kind Feat
With its gift of more than $10M, SECU Foundation sponsored the production of 102 Habitat homes, making North Carolina the first in the country to house a family in every county in its state.
RALEIGH, NC (DATE) – The SECU/Habitat Mountains to the Sea Challenge came to a successful conclusion with the completion this June of the 102nd home, in Lee County. After nearly five years of hard work by 63 affiliates and Habitat NC, the central statewide office, 102 homes were transferred to 102 new homeowners, one in each of NC’s 100 counties. With the exception of a few small states like Rhode Island and Delaware, it is a feat never before accomplished by any state’s Habitat for Humanity affiliates—a Habitat home built successfully and in partnership with a family in every county within the state, in a one-time, coordinated project.
“The realization of this SECU/Habitat Challenge goal represents an incredibly important stimulus to affordable housing, especially in some of the rural or economically-challenged areas of North Carolina where no Habitat home had ever been built.
“One hundred homes for 100 families:Wow,” says Dick Forbis of Carrboro, past Board Chair of Habitat NC who, together with Bill Cooke from Greensboro, oversaw the initiative from the start. “Habitat NC is so grateful to have received this astonishing level of support from the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation and to have been able to work out a fulfilling partnership with 63 Habitat affiliates and 100 SECU branches all across our State. This funding will continue to ‘pay itself forward’ to address future needs for affordable housing for quite some time.”
The Challenge was a natural fit for Habitat, the SECU Foundation, and SECU itself. Habitat built its homes in its usual fashion—with volunteers and the homeowners contributing sweat equity in the building of the house—but at the end, SECU stepped in to purchase the mortgage from Habitat at 0%, essentially providing each affiliate with a full sponsorship for the home. This sponsorship provided funding to build a second home immediately with the proceeds from the sale. SECU retained the mortgage, servicing it just as they serve thousands of other home mortgages for their members across the state. In this way, SECU found another unique way to fulfill its own motto, “neighbors helping neighbors.”
One of the primary hurdles was that 63 affiliates in the state serve only 74 of NC’s 100 counties. In order to reach the goal of building a Habitat home in each county, Habitat NC had to find a way to produce a house in the additional 26 counties without a homebuilder. The state office stepped in to an entirely new role as contractor and oversaw the building or complete rehabilitation of homes in 17 of those counties—from Cherokee to Dare—while 8 affiliates stretched themselves and their resources to build houses in the additional 9 un-served counties. The administration of the grant and the work overseeing the construction or rehabilitation of homes outside of affiliates’ service areas demanded additional fundraising—to the tune of almost $750,000.
Habitat NC is grateful to have had the integral support of Oak Foundation particularly, and its gift of $450,000, as well as Local Government Federal Credit Union, without whom this Challenge could not have been met. “We know that the leadership at SECU takes special joy in providing homeownership to 102 families across NC that otherwise would never have had one,” says Greg Kirkpatrick, Habitat NC’s Executive Director and President. He says it was an unprecedented
partnership that included many gifts from individuals, the Board of Directors, many of the affiliates themselves, and hundreds of individuals who supported the effort with gifts large and small. “I hope I don’t get in too much trouble by saying we’re ready to start all over again.”
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About Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina
Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina (Habitat NC) is a 501(c)(3) and one of 31 state support organizations (SSOs) across the country. Founded in 2008 through the efforts of local affiliates, Habitat NC facilitates increased housing production and neighborhood revitalization efforts across the state by providing a central agency to coordinate advocacy activities, provide training and technical support opportunities, aid in disaster recovery and serve as a focal point for disseminating statewide resources. North Carolina’s 63 Habitat for Humanity affiliates are not subordinate to the SSO, rather, we exist to serve them.
About State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation:
The State Employees Credit Union Foundation promotes local and community development by primarily funding high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services. SECU Foundation was established as a vehicle to “drive” the Credit Union philosophy of “People Helping People®”. State Employees’ Credit Union is a state chartered credit union headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina regulated under the authority of the Credit Union Division of the NC Department of Commerce. With assets over $37 billion, SECU serves over 2.2 million members. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website: NCSECUFoundation.org.