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Dogwood Health Trust Helps WNC Communities Leverage American Rescue Plan Act Funds for Affordable Housing

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Dogwood’s investment of more than $11.5 million has already positioned these counties and municipalities to leverage more than $21 million in funding for the region’s affordable housing projects.

Asheville, N.C. – Dogwood Health Trust recently awarded more than $11.5 million in grants to support affordable housing projects throughout western North Carolina. These grants, varying in amounts between $275,000 and $2.5 million, were awarded to counties and municipalities that intend to use funding through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) in order to address the critical shortage of affordable and supportive housing for vulnerable populations. Utilizing Dogwood’s grant funding, these counties and municipalities are now in a position to leverage even more resources, with just over $21 million already secured.

“The Dogwood team understands the importance of catalyzing state and federal funding in order to bring even more resources into our region,” said Dr. Susan Mims, interim CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “With ARPA funds available, we have an opportunity to financially support municipalities so they can leverage these funds as additional resources for their affordable housing initiatives.”

ARPA funds must be spent by 2024, and each of these projects can now get underway with the funding Dogwood Health Trust has provided along with other funds each municipality has contributed or secured through other means. 

“The requests we received for these funds were so well thought out, that we went above our originally planned allocation of $10 million to help support them,” said Sarah Grymes, Dogwood’s vice president of Impact for Housing. “Dogwood’s investments in housing span a full spectrum of needs, from providing safe and supportive shelter to those experiencing homelessness to helping those who desire home ownership achieve their dream. Ultimately, we seek to create a safe and stable “home base” for anyone struggling in Western North Carolina so they can successfully pursue other goals for their education, employment or health.”

Dogwood recently announced the availability of a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment of Western North Carolina. The research and analysis, conducted by Bowen National Research between January and June 2021, includes a collection of primary data, analysis of secondary data, and on-site market research. Patrick Bowen with Bowen National Research will present the findings to the region in a webinar on December 3, 2021 beginning at 12:00 noon. The full 473-page study and an executive summary are available for free download on Dogwood’s website.

Grants awarded included:

  • Yancey County will receive $2.5 million for planning and infrastructure to support the building of affordable and workforce housing development. Yancey County will align its ARPA awards to match this grant along with $13 million in funding from the state for infrastructure improvements.
  • The City of Morganton will receive more than $2.1 million for two projects. Dogwood granted $1.695 million to support developing the infrastructure, such as sewer and water connections, to build more than 120 housing units. Dogwood also provided more than $450,000 to support the development of 10.3 acres of the former Drexel Heritage Furniture site to build 39 single-family townhomes there. The City of Morganton matched $1.695 million of Dogwood’s award.
  • Jackson County will receive nearly $2.2 million to help fund the construction of a domestic violence shelter and to plan for a new homeless shelter, supporting both supportive and transitional housing there. Jackson County matched Dogwood’s grant.
  • The City of Hendersonville will receive $1.5 million help a new non-profit purchase a 10,000 square-foot building that will help realize the vision of Hendersonville Connection. Geared toward people who are homeless and/or recovering from substance use disorder, Hendersonville Connection will offer access to human services and provisions for basic needs, such as food, a shower and laundry facilities. The City of Hendersonville and Henderson County have matched Dogwood’s grant.

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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 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.

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