Windsor, NC – When Hurricane Matthew hit, Patricia Smallwood had lived in the same house for 20 years. Built in 1974, her home held not just her belongings, but also countless memories. By the time the storm subsided, nearly every square inch of her home’s interior had been damaged.
“The water came through the roof,” Smallwood recalls. “It ran down the drywall and through the hallway. It was flooded pretty bad.”
Smallwood’s insurance company denied her claims, making her think she’d be left alone to salvage her cherished home. It was then that her sister saw a sign for ReBuild NC.
Smallwood applied to the program, and after an inspection of the damage, she was approved for a new home. When she received word, she was “simply thrilled.” Smallwood says the application process went smoothly, thanks in large part to the help she received from her ReBuild NC case managers. “They guided me through the entire application process,” she says.
While her home was under construction, Smallwood stayed with a neighbor in the tightknit community. During this time, she and the contractor interacted regularly. “The communication was very good,” Smallwood says.
In April 2020, Smallwood saw her new home for the first time. “I was really tickled pink,” she says. “I just couldn’t believe it.” She loves every aspect of her home but is especially grateful for its energy efficiency. “The utility bills are so much less,” Smallwood says. “Before, it was like paying a mortgage payment when I paid my light bill. I’m just thankful knowing that I have a home that’s livable and energy efficient.”
Smallwood isn’t the only one thankful for her new home. Her three adult daughters and five grandchildren now have a safe, healthy place to visit and gather as a family for their dinner night tradition. Smallwood encourages others to apply to ReBuild NC for help, saying, “It was a good decision.”