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MHO Receives Top Grant Award from Women for Women Giving Circle

May 29, 2024 | News

Mountain Housing Opportunities is excited to announce a $125,000 grant from Women for Women giving circle members to expand our Down Payment Assistance Program. This investment is the largest Women for Women has ever granted and will help more low-to-moderate income-earning families achieve homeownership in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison counties.“We are excited to have been selected for the top grant award from Women for Women this year,” said Kelly Nossiter, Vice President and Loan Fund Manager at Mountain Housing Opportunities. “As housing prices continue to rise across the region, programs that support equitable access to homeownership are more important than ever.”

This $125,000 grant is part of the collective $288,000 Women for Women awarded in 2024 to six western North Carolina non-profit organizations. Women for Women is an initiative housed at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Since the giving circle was established in 2006, members have awarded over $5.2M to more than 60 programs serving women and girls. “We are thrilled that our 2024 grants are reaching small grassroots organizations as well as established, larger nonprofits,” said WFW Grants Committee Chair Jill Preyer. “Our focus on economic empowerment will help hundreds of women and girls in western North Carolina over the year.” 

Gender and racial wealth gaps are well-documented in the United States. Woman-headed households hold just 55 cents to every dollar accrued by households headed by men. The wealth gap widens further among women of color, dropping to just 9 cents on the dollar for single Black- and Latinx women. Homeownership is the primary driver of wealth for most Americans—therefore, homeownership for women, especially women of color, helps address gender and racial wealth disparities. A residential home is usually a household’s largest financial asset, comprising 50-70% of overall wealth across most demographics, and the net worth of homeowners is 40 times that of renters. Building greater access to equitable homeownership is key to addressing our community’s unprecedented housing affordability crisis and the historic barriers women and people of color continue to face in becoming self-sufficient and building generational wealth. 

While MHO’s Down Payment Assistance Program is open to all eligible households, single woman-headed households represent the majority of clients who apply for and secure this critical financing resource. “Women in our region continue to discover our Down Payment Assistance Program, realize the impact of such an opportunity, and then make sure to share it within their networks and communities,” Nossiter added.

“We are grateful to the members of Women for Women for their generous and timely gift to MHO’s Down Payment Assistance Program,” shared Charlie Owen, Chair of Mountain Housing Opportunities’ Board of Directors. “This grant not only transforms the lives of the women who will benefit from this investment, it will also make a generational impact on the individuals and their families who access the stability, economic empowerment, and wealth-building opportunities that homeownership brings.”

Learn more about Women for Women by visiting https://cfwnc.org/initiatives/women-for-women

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