This week, Chanda Morrison and her two children received the keys to her new Habitat home, which will allow her family to escape unhealthy and unsafe living conditions. Morrison built her home in partnership with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s.
The Morrison home is the second Habitat house completed as part of the Charlotte Impact Project, a joint initiative of Lowe’s, Our Towns Habitat and Habitat Charlotte. Last November, Lowe’s pledged $1 million to complete construction of 10 new homes and 10 critical repair projects, along with three Women Build events and eight home preservation projects.
Morrison and her young children have been living in public housing. Last winter, a shooting in their neighborhood left a stray bullet in the wall just beside Chanda’s bedroom window.
To qualify for Our Towns Habitat’s homeownership program, Morrison had to meet income requirements, commit to paying an affordable mortgage (no more than 30 percent of household income), and serve 400 “sweat equity” hours. Sweat equity hours are earned through homeowner education classes, volunteering in the Habitat ReStore or office, helping build other Habitat homes and, finally, working on construction of one’s own home.
Chanda has balanced being a working single mom with earning her sweat equity hours, but the work was important to her.
“The best part of Habitat was me being able to build a foundation for my family,” said Morrison. “I can actually say that I helped build this for them—I built that wall.”
When she was accepted into the program, the family was living in a two-bedroom apartment where they were exposed to mold, rodents and roaches. The thermostat was controlled by the landlord and the apartment was always cold in the winter. In this environment, her son was sick almost constantly.
“Lowe’s believes that a safe, stable home is a source of strength, pride and security for families,” said Colleen Penhall, vice president, Community Relations at Lowe’s, during the dedication. “Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity allows us to provide valuable support in a special way, directly in the communities where we live and work, like our hometown of Mooresville.”
“When I see the pride in your eyes, Chanda, and the sheer joy on the faces of your loved ones around you and the Habitat team that worked so tirelessly to support you, this embodies the impact we celebrate today,” Penhall continued.
The Charlotte Impact Project was sparked by a 2014 study ranking Charlotte 50th in economic mobility for children living in poverty. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, formed to study the issue of economic mobility, identified affordable housing as a key factor in ensuring family stability and promoting economic opportunity.
Construction on the remaining Lowe’s-sponsored homes will be completed in the next 18 months.
Contact: Erin McCloskey