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Asheville, North Carolina

August 3, 2013 to August 10, 2013

Want to be part of a diverse and open-minded team working to assist those in need and have fun while doing it? Willing to become part of a group committed to adventure and service? Ready to get your hands dirty and your spirit uplifted? Then consider joining us for a Habitat build in scenic and historic Asheville, North Carolina. No construction experience is necessary, just a willingness to join in and learn.

About Asheville, N.C.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Buncombe County, while mostly rural, boasts of a vibrant downtown with delicious restaurants, active art scene, and numerous festivals and activities for tourists and locals alike. There is an abundance of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, white water rafting and climbing.

The lack of affordable housing in Buncombe County is identified as one of our community’s most serious problems by many diverse sources, including the City of Asheville’s Community Development Department, the Department of Social Services, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Buncombe County is estimated to have approximately 2,000 substandard housing units within a total population of 238,300. Furthermore, the National Center for Housing Policy identifies Buncombe County as one of the nation’s counties where even police officers, teachers and firefighters cannot afford to buy a median-priced home due to the disparity between incomes and housing costs. 

It is this critical need for decent, affordable housing that is addressed by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s mission, work and purpose. AAHH provides an innovative solution to our community’s affordable housing crisis by moving low-income families into safe, affordable homes or repairing existing homes of qualified homeowners. 

About Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
AAHH is a nonprofit ministry that fosters community by partnering with qualified families and individuals to build new houses and preserve existing homes in Buncombe County. Our vision is a community where every family has a safe and decent home. Founded in 1983, AAHH was the first affiliate established in NC. AAHH has built 244 houses for almost 1,000 adults and children and builds at the rate of 13-15 new houses each year. Each house is built with volunteer labor and sold to qualified applicants at cost and with no-interest mortgages.

Habitat builds simple, decent two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses which meet NC Green Built standards. Approved homeowner applicants must demonstrate a need for safe and decent housing, have income 70 percent or less of the average median income and be willing to invest at least 200 “sweat equity” hours to build their homes. 

With a solid track record of fiscal responsibility, AAHH has several sustainable funding sources:

  • The AAHH ReStore opened in 1990 and generates AAHH’s largest source of sustainable funding. The Habitat ReStore also keeps 1,100 tons of usable materials from going to the landfill.
  • Our deconstruction team offers affordable de-installation and removal of salvageable building materials and makes them available for purchase in the Habitat ReStore.
  • AAHH’s returning homeowner mortgage payments generate $660,000 annually and are recycled to build more homes. 

As one of 50 affiliates selected nationwide by Habitat International, AAHH introduced its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative program in 2010AAHH partners with approved low-income homeowners to remedy substandard housing conditions utilizing volunteer labor and interest-free loans.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be building new homes or assisting on home repair projects. AAHH homes are one-story, wood frame houses between 900 and just under 1500 square feet. They are built in the Arts and Crafts style. Volunteers may help with all aspects of new construction or home repair: digging foundations; framing; roofing; installing windows doors, and vinyl siding; insulation; painting or landscaping. All tools and construction and deconstruction site materials will be provided by the affiliate. AAHH staff supervisors lead all volunteer projects.

Standard itinerary
Sample Itinerary- subject to modification.

Day 1 (Arrival day, Saturday, August 3): Arrival and rest day; option to attend downtown Asheville Shindig on the Green.
Day 2 (Sunday, August 4): Activity such as sightseeing, hiking and dinner at a local restaurant; team is slated to visit the historic Biltmore Estate at some juncture this week.
Day 3 (Monday, August 5): AAHH orientation with breakfast; work at new home construction or home repair site; group dinner.
Day 4 (Tuesday, August 6): Breakfast; then work on new home construction or repair site 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., with lunch on-site; group activity (such as walk in Montreat or Black Mountain); group dinner.
Day 5 (Wednesday, August 7): Breakfast; work on new home construction or repair site 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; tour and shop AAHH ReStore; group dinner with homeowner families.
Day 6 (Thursday, August 8): Breakfast; work on new home construction or repair site 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; group dinner.
Day 7 (Friday, August 9): Breakfast, then work on new home construction or repair site 8:30 a.m-3:30 p.m.; farewell celebration luncheon at site, dinner at local downtown restaurant and watch or participate in the downtown drum circle.
Day 8 (Saturday, August 10): Depart or attend Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain prior to departure if time allows.

Volunteers will stay at a local hotel or conference/retreat center selected by the team leader. 

Program cost

(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
The team leaders will pick team members up at the Asheville Regional Airport and will be responsible for transporting the team to their accommodations.

*If team members elect to stay in the Asheville area Saturday night post-trip, they are welcome to do so at their own expense. 

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.

Team leaders
Diana and Walt Jarrett are the team leaders for this trip. Their previous Habitat for Humanity experience includes two Global Village builds in Fairbanks, Alaska, and one each in Romania, Portugal, Macedonia, South Dakota and South Carolina. This will be their sixth trip serving as team leaders. They aspire to be cool. For more information, contact Diana at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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