This week, thousands of volunteers came together with Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region to build homes at The Meadows at Plato Price, an affordable homeownership community in the Historic West End.
One of the homes will go to Bri Samford, a 31-year-old substitute teacher who grew up on Charlotte’s west side. Samford, like more than 90,000 other renters in the area, is currently considered rent-burdened, spending more than 30% of one’s income on rent.
Samford told QCity Metro she spends 70% of her income on housing.
But once she moves into her new home, that will change. Her new mortgage will be subsidized through Habitat Charlotte Region to ensure affordability.
In efforts to reduce the rising costs of housing and remove barriers to homeownership, the Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region is building a large-scale affordable housing neighborhood, The Meadows at Plato Price, as part of the national Carter Work Project.
The national Carter Work Project is an international weeklong home-building event. This week, volunteers will begin to build 27 of 39 homes in the development.
Once completed in 2025, the neighborhood will offer affordable homeownership for Charlotte families. The development will feature walking paths, a community meeting area and designated nature areas.
Samford applied and was selected to become a homeowner through the program about three years ago.
“I feel very excited,” Samford said. “It’s still surreal to me. I feel like I’m dreaming.”
The mother of two said homeownership is something she values. She said it will have a lasting, generational impact on her family.
“I grew up with my mom and father having their own house,” Samford said. “So this is very important to sustain a stable, comfortable lifestyle.”
The location – Charlotte’s west – is also important, Samford said, because she relies on her family for support and wants to be close to them
Legally blind since she was 16, Samford said her mother, who also lives in the West End, drives her children to school and helps her get around when needed.
“It means a lot to me being that I have my mom close by me,” Samford said.
The program requires future homeowners to help build their own homes as a part of “sweat equity,” or volunteer requirements.
She told QCity Metro working on her own house as part of the volunteer project this week has been fun.
So far, Samford has learned how to build cabinets and install flooring. She says learning new skills has been a fun part of the process of becoming a homeowner.
In addition to volunteering, future homeowners are required to take homeownership classes, where they will learn about the responsibilities of and prepare for being a homeowner.
Once in her new home, Samford said she plans to create a YouTube channel showing off her new house and how she decorates it for the holidays.