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Essential Home Repair Receives Year-end Funding Boost

Dec 21, 2023 | Essential Home Repair, News

Essential Home Repair Receives Year-end Funding Boost from Sisters of Mercy North Carolina Foundation & The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) celebrates the receipt of two significant grants in support of our Essential Home Repair program from two long-term philanthropic partners. They include a $50,000 grant from the Sisters of Mercy North Carolina Foundation and a $20,000 Human Services grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. These timely investments will fund health- and safety-related home repairs for low-income and special needs homeowners.

“The greater Asheville region is experiencing an unprecedented housing affordability crisis,” said Geoffrey Barton, President and CEO of MHO. “Essential home repairs prevent homelessness and displacement, help maintain the viability of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing, and keep our neighbors safe and stable in the homes that they already own. We are grateful for the generous support from our partners at the Sisters of Mercy North Carolina Foundation and at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.” 

Since 1988, MHO has provided nearly 5,000 health- and safety-related home repairs to vulnerable homeowners who can’t afford to repair or replace their heating, plumbing, roofing, flooring, septic, and electrical systems through our Essential Home Repair program. The program also ensures accessibility and the ability to age in place by installing ramps, railings, and grab bars. This year, MHO will serve more than 150 people through this vital service. 

“Demand for our home repair services remains high. Right now, we have a waitlist of more than 50 households who need these critical home repairs,” shared Lee DeVico, who leads the Essential Home Repair program at MHO. “This grant will help us continue a program proven to serve economically disadvantaged residents of our region and support safe, healthy, secure housing—a fundamental social determinant of health.”

MHO’s Essential Home Repair program serves low-income older adults, people with disabilities, single-parent households, and families with three or more dependent children in Buncombe County. Low income is defined as earning 50% or less of the area’s median income (AMI). Through our partnership in the Healthy Opportunities Pilot, a program of Impact Health, MHO now serves Medicaid-enrolled residents in Buncombe, McDowell, Rutherford, and Yancey Counties.

“Essential home repairs play a key role in addressing our region’s affordability crisis, especially as construction materials and labor costs in the region remain high,” said Virginia Dollar, Senior Program Officer with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. “We are grateful to MHO for providing timely, essential repairs that allow families to stay healthy and secure in their homes.”

MHO gratefully acknowledges the Fenton Family WNC Fund, the Peterson Endowment Fund, the Trillium Fund, and the Wasson – Stowe Charitable Fund, and all of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for their support of the Human Services grant provided to our Essential Home Repair Program.

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