History

When the rector and five members of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church rallied other congregations to attend a meeting to address sub-standard housing in Chatham County in 1989, 65 people showed up.

Soon after, Chatham Habitat for Humanity was launched, becoming an official affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.

digging-footingsSince then, the non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization has partnered with nearly 100 local low-income families to build safe, decent, affordable homes.

Over the years, Chatham Habitat has broadened its mission to include building communities, incorporating environmentally responsible features into our homes, and helping fund Habitat homes in Africa and Haiti.

What lies ahead
The Chatham County Affordable Housing Task Force reports that the county is experiencing a “serious shortage of affordable housing.” Between 2002 and 2007, the price of new homes here increased at a much higher rate than average family income, resulting in a 27% increase in the need for affordable housing during this period. Setting aside the predicted population explosion still ahead, there is already a documented need for 850 additional units of owner-occupied, affordable homes. Chatham Habitat, with the community’s support, is stepping up to the challenge.

Milestones

1989

April: A meeting is held to explore the creation of Chatham Habitat for Humanity.

October: Chatham Habitat becomes an official affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.

1990

February: Volunteers with shovels gather in Silk Hope to dig footings for the first Chatham Habitat home.

September : Chatham Habitat’s first partner family receives keys to their new home in Silk Hope.

1991

Chatham Habitat’s second partner family moves into their new home in Pittsboro.

The first Chatham Habitat Home Store opens its doors for business, quickly becoming a significant source of funding.

1992

Chatham Habitat completes its third home.

old-homestore1993

The Home Store moves to a larger space at the former Byrd shopping center in Pittsboro.

A used truck is purchased to pick up items donated to the Home Store.

1994

Chatham Habitat picks up the tempo in homebuilding, constructing 13 houses over the next four years.

1995

Fearrington Village becomes the first full sponsor of a Chatham Habitat house.

1998

Amy Powell is hired as the Executive Director and with the Board of Directors sets the goal of building 25 houses over the next five years.

1999

The position of Family Services director is added to the staff.

2000

A construction manager, an office manager, and a Home Store manager are added to the staff.

Chatham Habitat builds the first Universal Design home with a special grant and continues to incorporate universal design features in all Habitat homes.

americorps2001

Chatham Habitat vows to meet the high standards set by Advanced Energy’s SystemVision program.

Two AmeriCorps members join the construction team for the first time and pave the way for an ongoing relationship that now includes four AmeriCorps construction crew leaders.

2002

The position of Development Director is added to the staff.

2003

The first bi-lingual AmeriCorps member joins the staff to serve in the Family Services Department.

The first FaithWorks house is built with help from a challenge grant by the Duke Endowment.

The first community meeting is held in the East Cornwallis sub-division in Pittsboro.

Construction begins in the Westmont community in Siler City.

2004

Area churches join together to construct the first Apostles Build home.

Staff and Board participate in Dismantling Racism training.

2005

The first Homeowners Association meeting is held in the Westmont Community in Siler City.

Chatham Habitat’s executive director chairs the Chatham County Affordable Housing Coalition which leads local public officials in studying housing needs and results in the creation of the Chatham County Affordable Housing Task Force.

Home-Builders-Blitz20062006

Chatham Habitat participates in its first Home Builders Blitz, enlisting local professional builders to construct five homes in just one week.

2007

Newland Communities pledges $1.1 million to the county for affordable housing and land for 60 affordable homes in Briar Chapel.

The Oak Foundation of Geneva, Switzerland issues a $750,000 challange grant, which is matched by Chatham County, resulting in the county’s first substantial public/private partnership.

The $2 million Simple Houses, Profound Impact capital campaign is completed, exceeding its goal by more than $1 million.

A Community Development Coordinator is added to the staff with funding from the Oak Foundation.

Chatham Habitat offers its first classes in support of new homeowners.

Translation equipment for 80 people is purchased to enhance communication.

Chatham Habitat uses precast concrete panels to build a home in Siler City that is energy-efficient and resistant to moisture and pest damage.

Chatham Habitat organizes a group of volunteers who travel to Mississippi to repair damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Forbis-Aguilar-Kissel2008

Community House opens in the East Cornwallis community, providing a space for classes, meetings, and after school tutoring.

A Habitat home in the Chatham Oak community is recognized as the 1,000th Advanced Energy house completed.

Chatham Habitat is recognized by Habitat for Humanity International as one of the top three affiliates in the nation out of approximately 500 in its size category.

2009

Chatham Habitat vows that all homes will be “green” certified under a program by the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties.

Chatham Habitat completes its first home made of aerated autoclaved concrete blocks, an alternative building material made of natural resources with a very high thermal insulation value.

The new and larger Home Store Too opens for business.

Chatham Habitat marks its 20th anniversary with celebrations, historical displays, and more.

2010

First annual 3 Ring Cycle Event was an overwhelming success with over 200 participants riding 30, 60, or 100 miles in Chatham County

Recognized at the 15th largest Collegiate Challenge site for all Habitat affiliates across the nation

100th house started and completed before the end of the year.  Construction started on homes number 101 and 102.

Westmont subdivision completed with 33 homes.  Community space deeded from Chatham Habitat to the Westmont HOA to formally give the families sole ownership of their community.

Out of 959 rural affiliates, only one of 26 who build more than 4.5 homes a year

2011

6 new homes built and 2 homes refurbished, providing safe homes for 27 people this year.

Second annual 3 Ring Cycle Event raises more than double the proceeds of the previous year.

20 years of ReStores operations celebrated as Home Store profits increase by 27%.

Advanced Energy honors Chatham Habitat for 10 years of building System Vision certified, energy efficient homes.  Correctly sized HVAC system, correct insulation installation, sealed crawl spaces, advanced framing and third party verification combine to achieve System Vision certification.

Recognized as one of the top tithing Habitat affiliates in the nation for contributing over $150,000 since 1991 to help build over 48 homes for families in need of decent, affordable, and safe shelter across the globe.

2012

  • 2 new homes built, 2 homes renovated, meaning that nine children moved into rooms of their own this year.
  • 6,655 volunteer hours logged in the ReStore, at construction, and in the offices, and 1,575 Sweat Equity hours earned by family members.
  • 1,394 ReStore donations picked up by the truck.
  • $8,000 donated to Habitat for Humanity’s efforts worldwide.
  • One of our homes earned a Silver Certificate EnergyStar rating, which is the highest rated home we’ve built to date.
  • On September 8th, we rebranded our Home Stores as ReStores, joining the ranks of Habitat ReStores across the nation.
  • In October, Rosa Rone paid her final Habitat house payment–she’s our third homeowner to pay off her home in full!

 2013

  • Acorn Park Lane Neighborhood in Pittsboro completed with the dedication of Maria Benitez’s home in April.
  • 5 homes renovated and dedicated in Siler City and 2 in Pittsboro
  • 2 new homes completed in Pittsboro
  • Chatham Habitat Office opened in Siler City
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"Everyone, everyone, deserves a safe and comfortable place to put their head down at night, and I am happy to be able to contribute to that." -Marv Cashion, Board of Directors Vice President and Carpenters Club Member