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VOL. 132 | NO. 26 | Monday, February 6, 2017

Army Vet the Real Winner of National Architectural Competition

By Patrick Lantrip

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Despite gray skies and frigid February weather, dozens of camera crews and corporate executives from across the country packed a normally quiet cul-de-sac in Raleigh to watch a middle-aged man move into his house.

54-year old U.S. Army veteran Walter Moody and his mother cut the ribbon on their new home in Raleigh, which was designed to allow adults to stay in their homes during all stages of their life. 

(Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

However, this was no ordinary house and Walter Moody was no ordinary man.

Thursday morning’s gathering was the result of a nationwide design competition sponsored by AARP, AARP Foundation, Home Matters and the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation that challenged architects to create a new housing design standard that will allow adults to stay in their homes throughout their entire lives.

“Most Americans want to stay in their home as they age,” Dave Brown, CEO of Home Matters, said. “But almost none of their homes can accommodate the need. The point of this national design competition was to show just how much homes are a quality-of-life issue.”

The winning home was donated to Moody, a humble 54-year-old U.S. Army veteran, who was chosen for both service to his country and to his family, which includes his aging mother who has mobility issues.

The open layout and ease of accessibility will allow Moody’s mother to spend more time with her family despite her disabilities.

“This home gives me the chance to have a better relationship with my kids, grandkids and mom, as I’ve never really had a home to create happy family memories,” Moody said. “It will create a comfortable place for us all, even if it’s just for a family dinner.”

The goal of the competition was to create an “ageless design” standard for affordable, yet appealing homes that can accommodate the homeowner though every stage of their life, from entering the workforce to starting a family to post-retirement life.

The house was donated by the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, with supplies and volunteer support for the project coming from The Home Depot Foundation. The winning design was submitted by IBI Group-Gruzen Samton.

Prior to the ribbon-cutting, Moody addressed the crowd and passionately urged them to keep fighting for other veterans across the county who are still without a place to live.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t share my passion for veterans,” Moody told the crowd. “After the cameras are gone, and I have accomplished this milestone, there are veterans still without a home. My hope is that as we plant this first seed of love for our veterans that it will multiply all over this land. As we say in the military, no man left behind, we also should say strongly no veteran left behind.”

After the ceremony, Moody and his family finally got to see the inside of his new house for the first time.

“I’m just happy right now,” he told a group of reporters while fighting back his emotions. “Thank you all for allowing me to have the opportunity to be somewhere where I ain’t got to go nowhere.”

PROPERTY SALES 83 405 4,276
MORTGAGES 104 424 4,814
BUILDING PERMITS 148 883 10,151
BANKRUPTCIES 53 264 3,149