Habitat Greenville raises walls on first home in new Veterans Build program

GREENVILLE, S.C. – On Thursday, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County and the Waldrop family celebrated a milestone – the wall raising for the Waldrop family’s future home, which also marks the first home build for Habitat Greenville’s Veterans Build program.

Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build program is an initiative to partner with local veterans and their families to build affordable, sustainable housing. A 2013 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition revealed the need for an affordable housing solution that specifically addresses veterans. The study found that, of the 20 million veteran households in America, one in four faces housing cost burdens. And, 1.5 million of those households spend over 50% of their income on housing, leaving them vulnerable to an emergency that could render them homeless. With its Veterans Build initiative, Habitat Greenville is working to change these statistics on a local level.

In addition to their veteran status, families participating in the Veterans Build program must meet the program’s income, debt and employment guidelines and have the ability to pay an affordable mortgage. Family partnership with Habitat also requires completion of 25 hours of homeownership preparation classes and the performance of 200 hours of sweat equity working on their homes and the homes of other Habitat homeowners.
“Despite their sacrifice and service to our country, veterans face a lack of affordable housing when they return to civilian life,” said Monroe Free, Executive Director of Habitat Greenville. “Through our Veterans Build initiative, we are making a commitment to local veterans so that they will be able to own safe, affordable housing in Greenville County. We are asking the community to make the same commitment to our veterans through support of this initiative.”

The build partner for the Waldrop family home is Publix Super Market Charities, which has committed $5.5 million to build Habitat homes across the Southeast in 2017.
Thursday’s wall raising is a significant step in the Waldrop family’s journey to home ownership. During the event, sponsors, partners, and volunteers have the opportunity to write encouraging messages to the family on the beams of the wall, which will then become part of the home during construction.

About Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County:
Through affordable home construction, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville strives to eliminate poverty housing and the social and economic problems it causes. Habitat Greenville received the Greenville Chamber’s Neighborhood Improvement Award in 2015, and was recognized with the 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Award, given by the SC Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO). Habitat Greenville, chartered in 1985, celebrated its 30th anniversary and construction of its 330th home in 2015. Learn more at www.habitatgreenville.org.