Blueprint becomes GreenWood reality
by Anna Oakes
Habitat for Humanity's GreenWood subdivision is now officially a neighborhood.
On Sunday, Watauga County Habitat for Humanity celebrated the completion of its second home in GreenWood -- a 21-acre property near Green Valley School to eventually include 18 to 22 Habitat-built homes -- with a dedication ceremony at Hopewell Community Church.
"We are here to celebrate the new home of Brandy Boone and her family," said Alex Hooker, executive director of Watauga Habitat for Humanity, to attendees. Boone and her three children -- Austin, 12, Michael, 11, and Baylee, 4 -- are scheduled to move into the home around the first of the year after the residence clears final inspections.
The residence marks the 23rd home constructed by Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, a Christian ministry founded in 1987. Habitat for Humanity homeowners pay for the cost of their homes, but those costs are reduced through financial donations, donated materials, volunteer labor and in-kind services.
Applicants for Habitat homes must be in need due to overcrowded or substandard conditions, unreasonable housing costs in relation to gross income, physical need requirements or inability to obtain a conventional home loan. To receive zero-interest home loans through Habitat, applicants contribute between 250 and 500 hours of "sweat equity" in helping to build their homes.
"They've been a big part of this house," said Jim Rogers, construction manager, about the work contributed by the Boone family.
Rogers led construction of both GreenWood homes, and each incorporated insulated concrete forms, which are interlocking modular units that are stacked and then filled with concrete.
"All the homes are energy-efficient," Rogers said.
Construction of the GreenWood neighborhood's first home began in April 2011, and the home was dedicated in April of this year. Rogers said construction of the third GreenWood home could begin as early as the first week of 2013.
GreenWood will be governed by a homeowners association and will eventually include a community center with picnic tables, grills and other amenities thanks to a $50,000 grant from Walmart.
Habitat for Humanity board members, supporters and past and future Habitat for Humanity partner families attended the dedication ceremony, followed by an open house at the Boones' new home.
"It doesn't even feel like it's mine. Reality has not even set in yet," Boone, an AppalCART bus driver, said from her new living room. "It is a huge relief that my kids are in a safe place."
For more information about Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, visit http://www.wataugahabitat.org or call (828) 268-9545.