Dogwood Health Trust Matching Grant Enables Six WNC Counties to Leverage Millions in Support for Affordable Housing Initiatives

Asheville, N.C. – As part of its ongoing commitment to bring affordable housing to Western North Carolina, Dogwood Health Trust recently granted Haywood County, a member of the Southwestern NC HOME Consortium (the Consortium), a one-time match to be used in the Consortium’s bid for a Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) grant. The Consortium consists of Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Clay and Graham Counties and the towns within those counties that are working together to secure funding for and implement initiatives that will support affordable housing efforts in their communities. 

The HOME grant is a HUD program requiring a 25 percent match. The Consortium’s HOME grant gives the region access to an annual allocation of $542,000 which can go to a wide variety of housing activities, including land purchases, construction, rental and down payment assistance, and repairs. The grant will be administered by the Southwestern Commission and benefit all of the counties within the Consortium. As a result of their efforts, the Consortium was able to leverage an additional $1.965 million from HUD’s American Rescue Plan, as announced late last week. The American Rescue Plan helps communities across the country create affordable housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

“Dogwood’s matching grant and the efforts of the Consortium has ensured more than $500,000 annually to increase the availability of affordable housing,” said Sarah Thompson, executive director of the Southwestern Commission. “Additionally, because we were able to get the Consortium off the ground this year, we are receiving $1.965 million from the American Rescue Plan, which we can put to work in the region to help families access safe, affordable housing.”

“The partners in this Consortium share Dogwood’s commitment to address the disadvantages created by a lack of affordable housing,” said Sarah Grymes, Dogwood’s Vice President of Impact for Housing. “Nearly 29% of households in Haywood County are cost-burdened, meaning that a family is paying more than 30% of their total budget for housing. Increasing the availability of affordable housing in these communities is essential to changing that equation.” Dogwood provided $261,690 in matching and training funds.

Affordable housing is one of Dogwood’s four strategic priority areas that will drive its work for the next ten years. The other priority areas are Education, Economic Opportunity and Health and Wellness, with a commitment to equity throughout its work.

“Dogwood Health Trust operates from the belief that health and wellness begin when basic needs are met – namely, when people are safely and affordably housed,” said Dr. Susan Mims, Interim CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “This matching grant is another step forward in our effort to fund partnerships that will support creation of safe shelter and affordable homes for everyone in Western North Carolina.” 

About Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, North Carolina with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust was created from the net proceeds of the sale of Mission Hospital System and focuses on innovative ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellness. Dogwood Health Trust works to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all, no exceptions. To learn more, please visit www.dht.org.

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