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Housing boom – New development chief

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By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Habitat for Humanity of Wake County has named a director of marketing and development, and is stepping up its fundraising and sponsor recruitment.

Heading the push will be Joyce Watkins King, for five years director of corporate marketing for Raleigh-based FMI, the largest U.S. management consultant to the construction industry, and for 16 years before that in development, marketing and public affairs jobs at N.C. State University.

Wake’s Habitat, founded in 1985, plans to build 30 houses for low-income buyers this year, up from 18 last year, says Greg Kirkpatrick, executive director.

Habitat has built 168 houses in Wake County, a total it aims to increase to 200 by the end of 2002.

Habitat is courting the construction industry. While it has close ties to many commercial and residential builders, Kirkpatrick says, Habitat has had little or no connection with others.

“We intend to make known to them specific ways in which they can help us build more affordable housing in this county,” he says.

A Habitat house costs about $86,000. Sponsors contribute $48,000 plus volunteer labor, and Habitat provides the remainder through public funding, revenues from its ReUse Center’s sale of building supplies, and mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners, who help build the houses.

Habitat is recruiting contractors and homebuilders to sponsor 10 new houses for a 28-house subdivision in Biltmore Hills in Southeast Raleigh.

Cross Williams of John C. Williams and Gordon Grubb of Grubb Properties co-chair the recruitment effort.

Habitat also tentatively plans a campaign to raise $3 million — $1.6 million to buy the building it occupies off Hodges Street, and $1.4 million to launch new housing initiatives. The campaign’s quiet phase could begin in 2003.

And Habitat aims over four years to increase to $1 million from $400,000 in the year ended June 30 gross sales at its ReUse Center.

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