Habitat cleans up church debris

Site to be used for housing

By David Leone

Photo by David Leone.

Photo by David Leone.

WAKE FOREST — Habitat For Humanity has cleaned up the debris at the former Spring Street Church site.
The church partially collapsed in May, leaving an unsound structure in need of demolition.

“It is true we have purchased the property. It was not salvageable,” said Missy Hatley, Habitat of Wake’s communications director. “We do plan to build (houses) on it in the future.”

The church was built in 1948 at 320 E. Spring St. It was formerly Spring Street United Presbyterian congregation, the Apostolic Church of Deliverance.

In 2007, W.E.B. DuBois Community Development Corp. (CDC) members took it over with the intention of turning it into a community arts center. But the CDC lost funding, closed, and since then the site has been in limbo.

When the roof fell in, Wake Forest Code Enforcement Officer Larry Rochelle searched for — and found — the property owner, Habitat of Wake.

“I talked to them right away. They had bought it a while ago and we just didn’t know,” said Larry Rochelle, Wake Forest’s code enforcement officer.

Hatley could not confirm if Habitat’s original intention was to tear it down.
She said that though there is no timeline to build on the site, it’s in their long-term plan for Wake Forest. Habitat has previously built houses in Wake Forest, most notably in the Jubilee Village neighborhood.

“We are right now active in Wake Forest with our Brush With Kindness exterior repair projects,” she said.
“We’re excited to be able to build some houses in Wake Forest,” Hatley added. “We are actively seeking community partners and homeowner participants year-round.”

Though many people have already applied for housing locally, they’re always seeking more, since some don’t meet qualifications.
Habitat houses aren’t given away, but homeowners pay an affordable, zero-percent interest mortgage.

To qualify, a potential homeowner must earn 25 to 60 percent of Wake County’s median income; have a housing need, a good rental history and reasonably good credit.

To learn more or apply, e-mail missy.hatley@habitatwake.org or call 919-423-2574.

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