GREENVILLE, S.C. – On Thursday, June 1, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County and Publix Charities dedicated a home for the Waldrop family, a culmination of months of effort by Tony and Rachel Waldrop and community volunteers. The home, the first in Habitat Greenville’s Veterans Build program, was funded by Publix Charities.
Veterans Build is an initiative to provide local veterans and their families with affordable housing. A 2013 study from 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. 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 Veteran Build initiative, Habitat Greenville is working to change these statistics on the local level.
In addition to veteran status, families participating in the Veteran’s Build must meet income, debt and employment guidelines to participate in the Veterans Build program. Successful completion of the Habitat homeownership program includes 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.
Tony and Rachel Waldrop are the first veteran family to participate in the program locally. Greenville Tech has supported the build with a large contingent of volunteers, particularly fitting since homeowner Rachel Waldrop completed her degree from Greenville Tech this spring.
“Despite their tremendous service to our country, veterans face a risk of housing instability when they return,” said Monroe Free, President & CEO of Habitat Greenville. “Through our Veteran Build initiative, 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.”
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.