ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County nonprofit is turning to the community for help funding home repairs throughout the area. Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) kicked off its first-ever Community Match Challenge Campaign this weekend.

Two anonymous donors donated $60,000, as of Sunday, and challenged other community members to team up to contribute another $60,000.

"There's so much conversation going on about affordable housing in Charlottesville and Albemarle. I think the focus so far has been on new units, but we really need to concentrate on preserving existing affordable units of housing. There's something to be said about people remaining in their homes,” said Cory Demchak, AHIP program director.

The month-long campaign runs through June 30, 2019. In 2018, AHIP helped more than 128 families and hopes to help even more this year. If you would like to donate, you can click here.

AHIP & Wells Fargo Press Release:

Charlottesville, VA – June 1, 2019 –A home rehabilitation underway at James Walker’s home in the Rose Hill neighborhood is getting a boost from a volunteer team from Wells Fargo today and tomorrow. As part of a grant award to AHIP from the Wells Fargo Builds Program, volunteers will spend 60 hours this weekend working to replace Walker’s crumbling and unsafe rear deck and steps.

“It’s the right thing to do. Partnering with organizations like AHIP make an immediate impact in our neighbors’ lives that we can come in and help them make their houses safer for them,” said J.B. Hurt, assistant vice president at Wells Fargo.

The volunteer project coincides with a limited-time community-wide donation match challenge to support AHIP in the last month of its fiscal year. Two local donors have joined forces to donate $60,000 to the home repair nonprofit with a challenge to the community to join them in contributing another $60,000 to ensure more neighbors in need of critical home repairs and upgrades, like Walker, stay safe at home. All donations to AHIP through June 30, 2019, will be matched dollar for dollar to reach the overall goal of $120,000.

“AHIP’s work is a collaborative effort, and Wells Fargo has been an outstanding community partner in bringing volunteers and project funding when and where it’s needed most,” Jennifer Jacobs, AHIP executive director, said. “Now with this community match challenge this month, every donor’s contribution goes farther in investing in critical repairs for our most vulnerable residents. It’s a rare opportunity to double the impact for people waiting for AHIP’s help.”

A lifetime Charlottesville resident, James Walker is the original owner of the 1956 concrete bungalow in the city. He now is 80 and a widower and shares his home with his adult stepson. Walker worked at UVA in food services as a cook all his life. On his limited retirement and Social Security income, Walker did not have the resources when severe rains in spring of 2018 leaked into his failing roof and caused extensive damage, mold, and mildew. AHIP’s partnerships with the City of Charlottesville, Wells Fargo, and an anonymous local foundation are making it possible to restore and preserve this home for the family’s future. AHIP’s rehab includes: insulation and weatherization measures, new windows, a new roof, upgraded electrical, and a new high-efficiency HVAC unit.

AHIP was awarded the generous grant through the Wells Fargo Builds program, which included $15,000 for the Walker family’s rehab. Since 2013, Wells Fargo has invested $193,800 in home repair projects for AHIP clients. Please contact Katie Davenport for the address of the volunteer project taking place Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.