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WHO WE ARE

Building hope and dignity in the people we serve.

Thirty-five years ago, a small group of volunteers came together on a warm, sunny Saturday to help fix the roof of a low-income elderly woman living in Leicester, NC. The volunteers brought tools and put their skills to work to save their neighbor’s home. Soon after, inspired to help local people live longer and better in their homes, those volunteers founded Mountain Housing Opportunities.

MHO exists because caring people saw injustice in our community—declining housing options and a lack of decent, affordable housing for low-income people—and decided to do something about it.

Today, MHO is the regional nonprofit leader in developing and preserving safe, stable, affordable housing in Buncombe County and beyond. We serve more than 2,000 households annually in Western North Carolina with apartment rentals, essential home repair, down payment assistance, and new home construction.

FINANCED AND DEVELOPED

affordable apartments

HELPED

families and individuals achieve homeownership

PROVIDED

with safety-related home repairs

Our Mission

We strive to build and improve homes, neighborhoods, communities, and lives and create hope and dignity in the people we serve.

Our Vision

We believe if you work in this community, you should be able to live in a safe, attractive, affordable home in a good neighborhood. And when you retire or if you become disabled, this should still be true.

Our Values

01

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Our commitment to DEI is unwavering across all our work. These principles are central to our mission and impact. We know having varied perspectives from our neighbors helps generate better ideas to solve the complex housing problems of a changing and increasingly diverse world.

02

Empowerment

Through equitable and high-quality services, advocacy, and respect, we seek to build the dignity of those we serve, the financial strength and independence of families and individuals, and pride in neighborhood and community. This is especially true for those historically and systematically affected by discriminatory policies and practices.

03

Innovation

We offer creative solutions to complex challenges. With safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship, and design, we are committed to creating lasting benefits and value for our neighbors. As a learning organization, we continuously strive to improve our processes and products.

04

Accountability

We believe fiscal and social responsibility provides long-term stability and service. Transparency and fairness build the trust and confidence of our clients, staff, volunteers, and partners.

05

Partnership

We trust in inclusive partnerships. We serve our communities best when we hear and amplify all voices to better inform our decisions.

06

Celebration

To honor the pride and spirit of the people working to build our communities, we celebrate their progress and accomplishments loud and proud.

MHO THROUGH THE YEARS

1988

Our Founding

MHO was organized by a group of five volunteers concerned with the declining housing stock and lack of affordable and decent housing units for low-income people. They first met at a Nonprofit Housing Development for Low-Income People conference. During the event, keynote speaker Dave Lollis of the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises advised participants to “go out and build a handrail on Aunt Mary’s front porch” instead of networking and studying needs assessment

These five volunteers took that statement to heart. On a Saturday in August, they brought ladders, tools, and materials to repair the roof of an elderly homeowner in Leicester, NC. Later that month, the group incorporated as MHO. Before year’s end, seven volunteer home repairs were completed, marking the beginning of our Essential Home Repair program.

1989

Subhead Needed Here

MHO hired its first executive director, Cindy Visnich Weeks.

1990

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MHO added its Community Rental Investments program, which develops safe, attractive, energy-efficient, affordable apartment communities. MHO also expanded to include a Homeownership program, which offers several programs to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.

The MHO Loan Fund is created, offering a new down payment assistance program to help new homeowners fill the cash gap between the amount of their first mortgage and the total cost of purchasing a home.

1993

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After serving as board chairman, Scott Dedman became MHO’s executive director in 1993. Dedman was also one of the seven founders of MHO in 1988.

2010

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MHO’s first turn-key home is sold. MHO’s first self-help neighborhood is built. MHO’s first LIHTC is created.

The now and the next….

We’ve got big plans for the next 35 years of MHO. Take a sneak peek at our strategic plan to see how we’ll keep increasing our impact in Western North Carolina.

BUILDING AN IMPACT

People

MHO helps the community find the homes they deserve. Learn more about the impact we’re making on the community.

PLACES

MHO builds developments and homes that make an immediate difference. Learn more about their impacts on the community.

Planet

MHO uses green practices to build more efficient, well-located homes. Learn more about our commitment to protecting the environment while building and improving homes.

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