Duke Energy employees volunteer to paint, landscape and weatherize homes in historic community during National NeighborWorks® Week

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 3, 2016 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (DreamKey Partners) is celebrating the completion of an 18-month rehabilitation project in the Druid Hills neighborhood with a Duke Energy volunteer day organized by Hands On Charlotte. More than 100 volunteers – representing Duke Energy as well as DreamKey Partners and local police department – will be rolling up their sleeves to paint, landscape and weatherize deserving homes in the community.

“The Druid Hills community is a historical treasure and many of the residents have lived here their entire lives,” said Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners. “We’re honored to work alongside Duke Energy employees to help beautify the neighborhood. By investing our time and energy, we’re helping to stabilize the area and build a sustainable future for all those who live here.”

The effort marks the finale of a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization grant awarded to DreamKey Partners by NeighborWorks® America for the improvement of Druid Hills. Over the year and a half grant period, various other Druid Hills revitalization projects were funded by the initial $500,000 allocation, including DreamKey Partners purchasing blighted properties, building six craftsman-style affordable homes, planting community gardens at the Druid Hills Neighborhood Park and installing new attractive street signage.

The volunteer day will be held Thursday, June 9, from 8 a.m. until noon with Duke Energy employees generously donating their time and muscle power to fixing up 25 homes in the neighborhood. Focused on an area between Statesville Avenue and the 1300 block of Norris Avenue, volunteers will paint, landscape and clear common-area debris, in addition to weather-stripping and caulking the homes.

“Duke Energy employees are committed to helping the communities we serve,” said Jennifer DeWitt, director, Duke Energy Foundation programs and community affairs. “We know that strong, thriving neighborhoods produce a more vibrant, diverse city, which is a plus for all residents.”

Located just two miles northwest of Uptown Charlotte, the Druid Hills neighborhood was built in the 1940s for returning military and their families. It was rooted in manufacturing industry with the first Ford Model T assembly plant outside of Michigan located on the southern edge of the neighborhood, on Woodward Ave. As the years went on and factories shut down, the once well-maintained bungalow homes suffered and were converted to rental properties. Today, the annual median household income in Druid Hills is $17,000, a fraction of Mecklenburg County’s average of $55,000.

This volunteer project is part of a weeklong celebration recognized locally and nationally as NeighborWorks Week. From June 4-12, people and organizations in more than 4,400 communities across the country are celebrating neighborhood revitalization efforts and hosting events that change, educate and empower.

About DreamKey Partners

DreamKey Partners is a broad-based, private, nonprofit housing development and financial corporation organized in 1988 to expand affordable and well-maintained housing and promote stable neighborhoods for low- and moderate-income families in the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The agency provides assistance to residents of its properties to more fully enter the economic mainstream and achieve independence. For more information, please visit CMHP.org.

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals. For more information, please visit NeighborWorks.org.

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