RHP began in 1995 by a group of concerned citizens who recognized a growing need among low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners for urgent home repairs to alleviate threats to their health and safety. Statistics tell a sobering story of a low-wealth county in need of safe housing. Rutherford County is a large, rural county of about 67,000.
Most recent Census data show that 20.3% of families live below the poverty level (statewide is 16.8%). Too many people struggle with day-to-day expenses; home repairs are put on hold until it’s unsafe.
Our unemployment rate has jockeyed for highest in the state over the last 10 years due to textile plant closings – 10.2% in 2003, 12.3% in 2010, 11.4% in August 2013. (Most recent statewide percentage is 6.9%.)
The median family income has dropped to $35,941, and RHP helps those making less than half of the county median income.
In Rutherford County, 44.8% of adults 65 and older have an income of less than $1,521 per month; 13.8%, only $775.
Tax records identify more than 1 in 5 homes in badly worn or poor condition.
One-third of the homes in Rutherford County are more than 50 years old.