Habitat for Humanity homes are coming to Rockwell

Published 12:06 am Thursday, January 12, 2023

ROCKWELL — Three vacant lots in Rockwell will see volunteers and workers from Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County building homes sometime in the not-so-distant future.

During Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, a public hearing was held and the aldermen voted 5-0 to approve a request from the nonprofit to rezone three vacant lots from R-1 single-family residential to R-2 general residential. The vacant lots are located at 130, 140, and 200 N. Cherry Street, which is right on the edge of Rockwell’s downtown.

The reason for the rezoning request is single-family residential only allows you to build one house per lot. The lots are big enough to build more than just three, so rezoning to general-residential will give the nonprofit the option to build more. Coleman Emerson, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County, said right now the plan is to build three houses, but that could change to potentially building four or five houses on the vacant lots.

Emerson, who has been with the nonprofit for 23 years, spoke during the public hearing and promised the town board that the houses will be good-looking houses and a nice addition to the downtown area. He could not say when construction will begin.

“Welcome to Rockwell,” Rockwell Alderman Chuck Bowman said after the vote.

Habitat for Humanity officially granted affiliate status in Rowan County in 1990 and ground was broken on the first house on March 2, 1991. Since then, the nonprofit has built 143 houses in various places around the county. They currently own 14 lots throughout the county that could see homes built in the future. Three houses are currently under construction off Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. near the Salisbury Civic Center. It usually takes 10 weeks or more for a house to be completely built.

“I appreciate you providing that service to the county to a lot of the residents who can’t afford homes,” Alderman Chris Cranford said. “That’s a great job that you all do.”