CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Using faith to help end the affordable housing crisis.
A local non-profit is using churches, volunteers and tiny homes to give more people a place where they can live.
Having a home, no matter the size, is comforting.
It’s especially important for people who don’t have a place where they can leave and return to every day.
There are now new tiny homes popping up in Chapel Hill to improve the lives of people struggling with secure housing.
“Providing housing is one of the most beautiful ways to provide dignity and respect the dignity of others,” said Reverend Lisa Fischbeck. “It’s people who now have housing who would otherwise be living in the community housing shelter or on the streets.”
Fischbeck is the co-founder of the non-profit Pee Wee Homes.
She sees the value in building these communities close to churches.
“Churches have infrastructure: water, sewer, a driveway, a parking lot,” explained Fischbeck.
The available resources help limit the costs to build the homes and for people living in the houses.
“The faith community just ends up being good neighbors to the people who move into the houses,” she said.
The homes are for people who make less than 30 percent of the average income in the area.
Residents will only have to pay a third of their income, for rent.
“There’s a real need for this level of affordable housing. There simply were not rooms or apartments for rent for say $200 or $400 a month, that could be dignified and affordable,” said Fischbeck.
Churches do not have to pay for the homes to be built on their property.
Three of them currently sit at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate on Merin Road in Chapel Hill.
The organization also has a duplex filled, and plans to open another one soon.
“It’s not the solution to the whole problem for the need of affordable housing at all. It’s just one small piece of the puzzle,” said Fischbeck.
Her team has consulted with groups in Durham, Wake and Chatham counties to see if they want to launch the program there.
“It’s a piece [of the puzzle] that needs to expand and grow,” said Fischbeck. “I think more and more churches can answer to this call.”
Fischbeck has a goal of taking this project nationwide.
A big part of Pee Wee Home’s success is the collaboration between everyone in the community.
Click here to learn more information on how to qualify for housing.