February 20, 2023
(courtesy of Charlotte Magazine; originally published August 25, 2021)
Once you recognize a Habitat house, you’ll likely realize you’ve been seeing them all over the place. Habitat for Humanity is one of America’s great success stories in the difficult realm of affordable housing. Through nearly four decades, Charlotte has played a big role in this national phenomenon.
Millard and Linda Fuller started Habitat in Georgia in 1976. They’d joined Koinonia Farm, a back-to-the-land religious community intent on interracial fellowship and simple living. Many of its neighbors resided in shacks without running water.
Millard Fuller worked out what became the Habitat model. Volunteers pitched in to build small, carefully planned cottages. The future homeowners worked as well, contributing 300 hours of “sweat equity.” Habitat provided a no-interest loan, which the resident family repaid over the years. That, in turn, helped fund more houses.