Some 600 Realtors® – armed with muscle power and enthusiasm – will be out in force across Mecklenburg and Iredell counties on Friday, April 22 in a multi-pronged volunteer effort to help individual homeowners with critical exterior repairs, lead the initial phase of a neighborhood rehab blitz, refurbish a community garden, and provide much-needed repairs for a local soup kitchen.
A group of more than 150 Realtors® will zero in on Druid Hills, while an army of close to 500 other Realtors® will spread out across the region to help 10 deserving homeowners with home repairs and/or adaptive safety modifications. Realtor® volunteers will also be dispatched to the Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville to help the nonprofit with some extensive site repairs.
Since 2009, Realtors® have fanned out across the region for the annual Realtors® Care Day (RCD), an all-day, home-repair project that has helped 174 homeowners and nonprofits since its inception.
For the first time, the Housing Opportunity Foundation – the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association – is partnering with another nonprofit to concentrate efforts in a single neighborhood as part of RCD.
Like the Housing Opportunity Foundation, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (CMHP) works to ensure citizens have access to safe housing in communities that support independence, opportunity and advancement. Both organizations support affordable housing initiatives. A $500,000 grant CMHP received from NeighborWorks® America will support a three-phased rehab blitz that encompasses the Druid Hills neighborhood.
“We’re honored to be part of a collective initiative in this historic neighborhood,” said RCD Chairman Mike Hege. “Druid Hills residents have been actively involved in the revitalization of their neighborhood. These are long-term residents who are working hand in hand with partners to ensure a sustainable future for themselves and their neighbors.”
“Druid Hills is a special community,” said Julie Porter, president of the Housing Partnership. “Many residents have lived here their entire lives. We’re honored to work alongside the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association to help beautify the neighborhood for those who live here. Lack of economic mobility is a huge issue facing Charlotte now. And access to safe and affordable housing offers people a path to stability.”
Focused on an area of Druid Hills between Statesville Ave. and the 1300 block of Norris Ave., Realtor® volunteers will paint, landscape and clear common-area debris, paving the way for subsequent CMHP efforts aimed at the total revitalization and stabilization of this historic neighborhood.
Realtor® volunteers will also help refurbish a community garden in Druid Hills Park and provide landscaping tasks at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church.
After Realtors® have done some of the initial “heavy lifting” in the first wave of the Druid Hills clean up, Goodwill Industries’ skilled labor team will follow, and Hands On Charlotte volunteers will come in the week of June 6 (NeighborWorks Week) to complete the work.
Realtors® Care Day
RCD advances the sustainable and affordable housing mission of the foundation by providing area homeowners with critical, but often unaffordable, exterior home repairs and/or adaptive safety modifications. Many of the homeowners are elderly or challenged by serious physical limitations and require assistance to maintain safe and sustainable housing. Realtors® Care Day volunteer teams will be out in force – across the region – to repair gutters, replace windows, paint, repair decks, build wheelchair ramps, replace siding and more.
Over the past eight years, some 4,600 Realtor® volunteers have made a community-wide financial impact of more than $1 million. The 2016 event promises to build upon this success, with the continued support of nearly 100 local businesses and organizations pitching in with financial sponsorships and in-kind donations.
For the eighth consecutive year, Lowe’s has supported Realtors® Care Day by developing a process for the organization, as well as management and delivery of materials to all home sites within the two-county area. Lowe’s staff will assist throughout the day in meeting the project needs until all sites have been completed.
The Housing Opportunity Foundation also welcomes back the commitment of several regional partners that have helped identify homeowners eligible for assistance with critical home-repair needs: City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services Department; Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.
About the Housing Opportunity Foundation
The Housing Opportunity Foundation is the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association. The foundation is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives. The foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as leaders, promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities. For more information on Realtors® Care Day 2016, visit www.RealtorsCareDay.com.
About Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership
Incorporated in 1988, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. is a broad-based, private, nonprofit housing development and financial corporation organized to expand affordable and well-maintained housing within stable neighborhoods for low and moderate-income families in the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Learn more at www.cmhp.org.