August 02, 2016
On August 2, the Grace Point campaign committee, chaired by Andy Douglas, Greenville Market President, Bank of America (retired); Habitat Board, donors, and local dignitaries kicked off the public phase of the Campaign for Grace Point as well as Habitat's new initiative, Veterans Build, which focuses on housing for veteran families. The Campaign for Grace Point aims to raise $1.435 million to fund the development of the neighborhood. Habitat Greenville has already raised $919,000 of that total, and is looking to the community to invest support in the project.
The first family in the Veterans Build program, Tony and Rachel Waldrop, expressed their gratitude to Habitat Greenville for the opportunity of homeownership. At a special presentation, Charlie Hall and Kevin McBride, of Upstate Warrior Solution, presented the Waldrops their wedding rings. The couple had returned their rings in order to meet the debt requirement when they applied to the Habitat homeownership program.
A 2013 study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals 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. 1.5 million of those households spend over 50% of their income on housing.. With its Veteran Build initiative, Habitat Greenville is working to change these statistics locally through affordable homeownership opportunities for veterans. "Despite their sacrifice and service to our country, veterans face a risk of housing instability when they return,” said Monroe Free, President & CEO of Habitat Greenville. "Through the development of Grace Point, we are making a commitment to our local veterans that they will be able to find safe and secure affordable housing in Greenville. We are asking the community to make the same commitment to our local heroes through support of this initiative.”
Grace Point, located off of the White Horse Road corridor, consists of six existing homes in need of renovation, and seven lots for residential construction. The Grace Point will be carried out in three phases. The first phase of the project, already completed, included the purchase of the seven lots and the construction of three new homes. Phases II and III include purchase and renovation of the six existing homes and construction of four additional new homes. The neighborhood will be completed by 2018.
Veteran families will need to be approved for participation in the Habitat program. Successful completion of the homeownership program includes meeting the income, debt and employment guidelines, completing 25 hours of homeownership preparation classes, performing 200 hours of sweat equity working on Habitat homes, and having the ability to pay an affordable mortgage.
Donations to the Campaign for Grace Point may be made online at www.habitatgreenville.org, or by mail to Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County, P.O. Box 1206, Greenville, SC, 29602. Donors should specify that their donation is to be used for the Campaign for Grace Point.