December 6, 2021
Nantahala Health Foundation and Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation are pleased to announce that five regional nonprofit agencies and one county government unit have been awarded grant funds to aid in their efforts to address the home repair needs for low-income homeowners throughout the far Western North Carolina region.
*Agencies selected to receive Healthy Homes Initiative funding are:
- Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville
- Macon County Housing Department in Franklin
- Macon Program for Progress in Franklin
- Mountain Projects in Waynesville
- Rotary Club of Highlands
- Restoration House in Bryson City
*NOTE: Click on an agency name above to access their website and to find more information about how to access home repair services.
The collaborative Healthy Homes Initiative is a targeted effort designed to assist individuals at or below 60% of the area median income with home repair needs that directly impact their health and safety. In addition to affordability, multiple factors can align to create barriers for low-income homeowners to undertake repairs necessary to maintain the safety and health of their home’s occupants. Elderly homeowners, for example, may require specific modifications to ensure they can safely age in their homes, while other modifications may be needed to address occupants’ physical challenges or disabilities. COVID-19’s impact has further exacerbated the affordability of home repairs and modifications by disrupting building material supply chains and decreasing the availability of skilled and volunteer labor.
Leaders at both Highlands Cashiers and Nantahala Health Foundations say they are looking forward to working with the six Healthy Homes Initiative grant awardees to address safe, equitable and affordable housing concerns throughout their service area.
“By partnering with us and NHF on this initiative, the combined effort of these six agencies will certainly make a positive impact on housing conditions that threaten life and safety,” said Robin Tindall, CEO and Executive Director of HCHF. “The timing of this effort, too, is especially important, as winter weather can increase the risk of unhealthy conditions related to a variety of home maintenance needs.”
Nantahala Health Foundation Executive Director Lori Bailey concurred with Tindall’s assessment, adding, “We greatly appreciate these agency leaders’ commitment to ensuring these funds have an immediate impact for those who need it most, whether they begin immediately to address those on their current wait-lists or by inviting new potential clients to apply. Safe and secure housing is a fundamental building block for improved health and wellness for everyone, yet for many in our community, their safety and well-being are compromised because the expense of housing maintenance or needed modifications is beyond their means.”
Dogwood Health Trust lent its support to the Healthy Homes Initiative by working closely with both HCHF and NHF to launch this targeted approach designed to aid those most in need. Their support also included a total investment of $400,000 in grant funds to be administered equally by both local health foundations.
“The leadership from all three of these foundations believe that health and wellness begin when people are safely and affordably housed,” said Dr. Susan Mims, interim CEO, Dogwood Health Trust. “We are thrilled that our support for the Healthy Homes Initiative has allowed Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation and Nantahala Health Foundation to partner with these area agencies to address the region’s most critical needs for home repairs.”
Both Tindall and Bailey expressed their appreciation to the leadership at Dogwood Health Trust for their support of this effort. “We are grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for providing our Foundations this collaborative grant opportunity, which has increased our capacity to dramatically improve health and well-being for those who struggle to repair their homes,” they said.
Homeowners in need of home repair and/or modification services are encouraged to directly contact any one of these agencies to begin the process of determining eligibility and repair assessment. Contact information for each agency recipient is available on both HCHF and NHF’s websites.
About Nantahala Health Foundation
Working as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, Nantahala Health Foundation seeks to partner with nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary to achieve better health and wellness outcomes for all. By working to address the upstream, root causes of health inequities and by removing barriers to positive social determinants of health, NHF’s success is seen best in partnerships with regional change-makers. Since its establishment in 2019, NHF has awarded nearly $2.7 million in support to some 78 programs throughout the region. Visit NHF’s website to join their Healthy Future Movement.
About Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation
The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019, as a 501(c)3 public charity to improve the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding communities. Together with generous donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change by supporting projects and programs that improve health and well-being in the communities they serve. Visit HCHF’s website to join them in Lifting Health and Well-Being, Together.
About Dogwood Health Trust
Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, N.C., with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and wellbeing of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust focuses on innovative and equitable ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. With a focus on housing, education, economic opportunity, and 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.