Habitat Staff Make Statewide Presentations

Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley staff members have been busy.

Executive Director Mitzi Gellman and Community Outreach Coordinator Jenna Cucco presented “Building a Mixed Income Neighborhood” at the annual Camp Habitat Conference October 3-5 at Lake Junaluska.  Mitzi also presented the material at the North Carolina Housing Finance Association’s Affordable Housing Conference October 12-13 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Highlights of the presentations included an overview of Habitat Catawba Valley’s Northstone Subdivision, the market rate program, and the benefits of mixed income neighborhood on individuals, families, and the community.

Mitzi Gellman signQuick Facts


  • 22 lots
  • Open space
  • Low to Moderate Income
  • County School District
  • Grocery/shopping
  • Foreclosure Purchase
  • Infrastructure Complete

Tightlines Designs Partnership

  • Curb and gutter
  • Planned community design
  • Upgraded siding – LP Smart Siding
  • Historic color palate
  • Street lights
  • Community commons area (creative use of wet lands!)
  • Picnic shelter, community mailboxes
  • Provide a sense of community – front porch
  • All quality built homes

Energy Efficiency

  • DOE Net Zero Energy Ready Certified
  • DOE Rising Star Energy Innovation Award: Affordable Category
  • Guarantee $30/month heating and cool for first 2 years
  • Energy Star certified
  • Indoor Air Quality plus certified

Impact of Mixed Income Neighborhoods

Studies find kids moving from low income neighborhoods into mixed income neighborhoods experience:

  • 16% higher annual earnings
  • 9% more likely to be employed
  • $45,000 increase in lifetime earnings
  • A tale of 2 miles: Small changes, large gains – most kids in this study moved less than 2 miles

Age makes a bigger impact:

  • 31% increase in earnings if kids moved before becoming a teen
  • $99,000 increase in lifetime earnings if moved before age 8
  • Increased home life stability: when kids move to mixed income neighborhoods, their children are more likely to be raised by two parents, to enjoy higher family incomes and to spend their entire childhood in better neighborhoods