Habitat For Humanity of Gaston County Dedicates Dixon Village

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Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County celebrated the progress of its  innovative Dixon Village community with a morning dedication on Thursday, June 2. Attended by  organizational leadership, City of Belmont and Gaston County officials and other invited guests, the  event showcased the developments made thus far at the Belmont, N.C., neighborhood with  commentary from current Habitat homeowners and project partners. 

Dixon Village is a 7.5-acre development in North Belmont. Two-thirds of its 28 homes will provide  affordable workforce housing for Habitat families and essential workers – hometown heroes such as  teachers, firefighters, police officers and healthcare employees – and one-third for market-rate  homebuyers. This mixed-income neighborhood will be the first of its kind in the greater Charlotte region  and meets a growing need for affordable housing in Gaston County. 

“The need for shelter is a basic necessity and the foundation for all other aspects of our lives,” said Kay  Peninger, executive director of Habitat Gaston, from the burgeoning Dixon Village site near Hickory  Grove Road. “But right now, the ability to afford simple, decent shelter is out of reach for too many  people. And this matters because homeownership is the foundation of strong communities. When a  Habitat family purchases a home, they are not only strengthening their family, they are building a strong  community for everyone in Gaston County.” 

Peninger noted that Habitat Gaston is currently working with 13 diverse future homeowners – all of  whom will complete the nonprofit’s financial education in addition to sweat equity toward the fulfilment  of their homeownership dreams. She added, “Our goal is to break down the barriers to homeownership  by providing a hand up and not a handout.” 

Through tears, new Habitat homeowner Alisha Giles spoke of attaining a stable home for her daughter  – but, more importantly, giving her daughter her own bedroom, “Every day I walk in my house and I’m  like, ‘This is mine.’ And I’m so thankful for it … Everything that I did is for my daughter and I thank  Habitat for allowing me to accomplish those goals. It’s a blessing.” 

Giles’ neighbor ShawnTerria Camp, also a new Habitat homeowner, shared the many lessons that she  learned through the process. From growing a garden to financial independence, she said she can pass  these important lifelong teachings onto her children. “I will teach them all of that as they grow and I look  forward to all the memories we make in our new home. It feels good. It looks good. I’m happy. And I’m  grateful to each and every one of you. I can’t wait to see what Dixon Village will be, but I know with you  guys’ help and God, we will all be fine.” 

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