Local News

Habitat homes give families affordable options as rents rise

Posted March 14
Updated June 6

— Thein Oo's life has changed dramatically since he moved his family to the United States from Burma in 2011.

He got a job as a housekeeper at UNC Healthcare, and he's become a team leader there.

But he's also seen the cost of rent in Orange County rise dramatically, to the point that he can no longer afford to pay his bills.

Looking for affordable options, Oo applied to Habitat for Humanity's Building Together NC program.

The program will allow Oo and his family to have a home and more options.

"At least now, we get this one from Habitat so we can save the money for my children's education," he said.

Savanna Melton, the communication coordinator for Orange County Habitat for Humanity, said the affordable single-family home will allow Oo to walk to work.

"His children can then walk to school, and it allows them to have better access to education and opportunities right here in their neighborhood," Melton said.

The Oo family home is just the beginning. Habitat for Humanity is calling for donations and volunteers to build three more homes in the Triangle area.

"We rely on people coming out here and giving the generosity of their time to help build some walls, nail a nail in the wall. I mean, even coming out and serving food," Melton said. "There's a lot of different opportunities for people to get involved."

Editor's note: WRAL is supporting Habitat builds in Wake, Durham, Orange and Cumberland counties.


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