Habitat volunteers hold wall signing for Fred Lyles Circle home

Published 8:57 pm Monday, January 29, 2018


TRYON – A new home being built by Habitat for Humanity will literally have love in its walls.

Habitat for Humanity held a wall signing on Friday, Jan. 26 to allow volunteers to write words of encouragement and Bible verses on the walls of a new home being constructed on Fred Lyles Circle in Tryon, for a family of six.

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The walls will eventually be covered, but owners Katrina Alexander and her husband Jamal Howard, will always know when they walk by them what it took to build the house and that the words are there.

Alexander said their family was getting bigger and they decided to buy a house and kept getting denied for a loan. Alexander is a medical assistant at a pediatric center in Asheville and Howard is a chef at O’Charley’s in Hendersonville. They have four children, ages 5 months, 18 months, 8 and 12.

“It’s a blessing,” Alexander said. “I would recommend Habitat for anyone who needs help. I love the concept and we get to be a part of it. We helped do this. This is a part of us.”

Alexander said she thinks the concept of Habitat and being a big part of the construction makes homeowners more appreciative of their home in the end.

Habitat homeowners put at least 400 hours of “sweat equity” into building their homes.

Howard thanked all the volunteers on Friday and said it has been a learning experience for him. He said he came from Charlotte and is trying to build a family and to reach goals he thought he never would.

Ron Laughter, Habitat for Humanity Hendersonville president and CEO, attended the wall signing and thanked the State Employees Credit Union for stepping up and agreeing to sponsor 100 homes in North Carolina at $100,000 each. The credit union pays Habitat and takes over the loan, then allows the homeowners to pay off the loan at zero percent interest. He encouraged volunteers to write words of encouragement on the Alexander/Howard home. He said the wall signing is a way to give the families, “the sense that there was love building this house.”

Laughter said Habitat homes are built extremely energy efficient with the heating and air conditioning costs guaranteed to be $31 or less a month. The homes come with Energy Star appliances and LED lights as well.

Habitat homes come with all appliances furnished including a refrigerator/freezer, stove and range, microwave, dishwasher and washer and dryer, according to Laughter.

Laughter said this Habitat home is the first one to be built in a couple of years in the area. The Alexander/Howard home will be the fourth on Fred Lyles Circle in Tryon.

The home being constructed is slated to be four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Volunteers put up the walls of the house on Friday morning.

Habitat broke ground on the home in November, with weather holding back progress until recently. Habitat homes normally take six to seven months to complete so the Alexander/Howard home is expected to be complete in the summer/fall timeframe of this year.

Laughter said a Habitat home takes roughly 1,400 hours of volunteer work alone, not including the family’s 400 hours of sweat equity.

For more information about the local Habitat for Humanity, visit habitat-hvl.org.