Habitat for Humanity awaits final approval for townhomes in Sterling community

Baxter-Norris Villas goes before planning commission on June 16
Habitat for Humanity is awaiting the greenlight to begin constructions plans on the Baxter-Norris Villas in Greenville's Sterling community
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A plan to build affordable townhouses on an empty plot in the historically-black Sterling community could get the greenlight to move forward next Thursday. Habitat for Humanity has proposed what would be called the Baxter-Norris Villas, named for Peggy Baxter, a former chair and longtime member of the Habitat board, and longtime Greenville County Councilmember Xanthene Norris. The development would include seven townhouse units - each with either two or three bedrooms.

Habitat for Humanity has proposed building seven townhouse units on Jenkins Street in...
Habitat for Humanity has proposed building seven townhouse units on Jenkins Street in Greenville's Sterling community.(whns)

“(It’s) hugely exciting for this neighborhood,” John Lattimore, Habitat’s chief programs manager, told FOX Carolina. “This is our first multi-family project, so it’s very exciting for us individually.”

A public hearing is scheduled before the Greenville Planning Commission on June 16. Lattimore said the commission’s approval would make it possible for Habitat to move forward on the bidding process for work to prepare the site for building. Construction would start around June of 2023, and the townhomes would be ready for owners to move in about a year later. Lattimore said, at this point, it’s estimated that the appraised value of the townhomes would be around $200,000.

“But (Habitat homeowners) will only pay a maximum 30 percent of their gross monthly income, so that’s how we’re going to make sure it stays affordable.”

Lattimore said the break homeowners get with monthly mortgage payments would not extend to property taxes.

“One of the main concerns is making sure that the people in the neighborhood are able to stay long-term,” Nona Henderson, Habitat’s director of neighborhood revitalization, told FOX Carolina.

Henderson said part of her job involves talking to neighbors about future plans. She said many are concerned about being forced to leave because they can’t keep up with the rising property values. However, they are not opposed to having newer, more expensive homes in the neighborhood.

“This is a neigbhorhood with lots of hopes and dreams,” Henderson said. “I think that they’re pretty open to having...other people come in...and really help them achieve all of their goals.”