HICKORY — The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency presented the 2018 Housing North Carolina Awards, the state’s top honor for excellence in affordable housing, during the NC Affordable Housing Conference in Raleigh on Oct. 24. The Northstone development in Hickory was among six properties to receive the award and be recognized as a model for other communities.
Developed by Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley and the City of Hickory, Northstone is the first mixed-income community in Catawba County, offering both affordable and market rate single-family homes.
As a commitment to long-term affordability, all Northstone homes are built to the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready home standards. In 2016, the Department of Energy certified two homes in Northstone as the first Net Zero Energy Ready Homes in North Carolina. Only a select group of homes by the nation’s top builders meet the levels of excellence and quality specified by U.S. Department of Energy guidelines.
Another notable feature of the Northstone neighborhood is its strategic design to encourage gathering and community connection. To further engage the community, Habitat partnered with the City of Hickory to launch “The Rudy Project,” a community-wide effort to raise funds to sponsor construction of a Habitat home and build a community picnic shelter and garden in honor of the service and memory of Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright. Hickory Greenway Harvest, a local nonprofit organization, assisted with building the community garden and training volunteers to maintain a successful garden.
The NC Housing Finance Agency provided zero-interest participation loans to Habitat for Northstone, and the City of Hickory contributed funds for down payment assistance.
“Northstone is an example of how Habitat can build affordable housing in Catawba County. This award from the NC Housing Finance Agency asserts that we are on the right track. Through partnerships, including the City of Hickory, WPCOG, volunteers, house sponsors, and homeowners, we can build housing for today’s workforce – housing that is affordable, attractive, and energy efficient,” said Mitzi Gellman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley.
“The City of Hickory is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley on projects like Northstone to promote affordable housing in our community,” said City of Hickory Community Development Manager Karen Dickerson.
For more information about Northstone, call Gellman at 828-328-4663. For more information about the City of Hickory’s Community Development programs, call 828-323-7414.