Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to Save a House and Create a Home

The current Independent Weekly has a cover story on Builders of Hope. Bob Geary begins the story this way, embedding the beginning of the real story here.

It wasn't only the spike in Raleigh teardowns, though the sight of perfectly habitable homes being reduced to rubble helped Nancy Murray settle on a strategy. She already was on a mission to learn all she could about affordable housing and how to build it. Call it audacity, call it a ministry, but Murray—an advertising executive turned builder and social activist—thought she could supply top-drawer, affordable houses in good neighborhoods to working-class families.

Then it clicked: Murray would save the homes imperiled by teardowns and have them moved to a new location. She would upgrade them using the best green techniques while preserving as much of their old wooden bones as possible, then sell the houses at prices high enough to recapture the costs but below their new appraised values.

Such was the genesis—the biblical as well as temporal meaning—of the nonprofit organization Murray created in 2006, Builders of Hope.

This most amazing story of hope becoming reality can be read here. The chance for hope to recycle itself into the future is the best development of all.

An Over the Top Award to Builders of Hope for this Positive Development.

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