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Health & Wellness

We believe that health and wellbeing begin when people are safely and affordably housed, and that everyone deserves a stable home.  We work with local, state and federal partners to support creation of safe shelter and affordable home rental or ownership for all.  

Affordable housing is in extremely short supply in Western North Carolina, so we are working to preserve and add to available housing stock. Numerous area partners bring strengths, expertise and assets to this work. In many cases, Dogwood will play the role of bridge funder, loan guarantor or equity partner rather than simply writing a grant check. This helps increase our impact in the region while preserving grant funds for other strategic purposes.

Our vision for the next several years is to create at least one affordable or workforce housing project in every county we serve. 

Partner Highlights

Graham County Rural Development Association

PODER Emma

Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity Almost Home

Rutherford Housing Partnership and Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity, Spindale

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Homeward Bound

Graham County Rural Development Association

Dogwood and Graham County Rural Development Association (GCRDA) have partnered to develop affordable housing, enabling access to homeownership for thirteen low to moderate-income families in Robbinsville, NC. In October 2021, GCRDA broke ground on the development of 13 lots in preparation for residential construction, providing a path to first-time homeownership for families who could not otherwise afford to purchase safe housing. 

PODER Emma

PODER Emma stewards, protects and develops permanently affordable housing in the Erwin District of Buncombe County through the creation and support of resident-owned mobile home park cooperatives. Mobile homes are a primary form of existing, affordable housing; however, the traditional model of mobile home parks where residents rent the land creates housing instability and leaves low-income families extremely vulnerable to displacement. The cooperative model creates stable, dignified housing and roots intergenerational wealth in our community. PODER Emma provides extensive technical assistance, training and cooperative development services, as well as home repair services to protect existing affordable housing units. The organization has partnered with Dogwood to provide home repair services to ensure health, safety and dignity for these units.

Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity Almost Home

Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity is a small, rural Habitat for Humanity affiliate working to build homes for low-income families in Western NC. Since the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased construction expenses, Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity partnered with Dogwood to cover the cost increase of building materials. Savings are passed to the homeowner, ensuring affordability. A recently built home welcomed its new owners, a single father and his two girls, ages eight and six.

Rutherford Housing Partnership and Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity, Spindale

The Revitalizing Spindale project is directing community partnerships, input and involvement into a specific area of Spindale, NC, to address community blight, increase affordable rental opportunities and increase homeownership opportunities. Rutherford Housing Partnership and Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity are partnering with Dogwood, the Town of Spindale and the Stonecutter Foundation to increase housing opportunities and rebuild a vibrant community.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Dogwood is working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (ECBI) to provide gap funding for programs to meet unexpected demand, enable capacity building and add an additional housing counselor to support low to moderate-income households within the tribe as well as surrounding counties. Programs help foster parents renovate their homes, as well as support rate buydowns, down payment assistance and portfolio loans for on-boundary applicants who cannot obtain traditional financing.

Homeward Bound

Located in Asheville and serving people experiencing homelessness, Homeward Bound mission is to prevent and end homelessness through permanent housing and support. Dogwood has partnered with Homeward Bound in their Home is Key project, which will renovate the Days Inn on Tunnel Road in Asheville to offer permanent, supportive housing for 85 formerly homeless individuals. Onsite services will include a health clinic, case management, behavioral health services, employment services, a daily congregate meal and 24/7 security and support staff.

Single story home in the midst of being build with 3 volunteers helping.

Housing | Goal 1

Support Healthy and Safe Revitalization Opportunities

Support healthy and safe revitalizations that work against displacement and gentrification, preserve home ownership and create generational wealth

Objective 1.1: Revitalize Neighborhoods

Objective 1.2: Repurpose existing structures to minimize environmental impact

Objective 1.3: Support home ownership

Housing | Goal 2

Create and Preserve Supportive Housing Rental Units

Invest in housing with sustainable supports for physical and mental health and wellbeing

Objective 2.1: Create new supportive housing

Objective 2.2: Preserve existing supportive housing

Objective 2.3: Leverage state and federal funds

Housing | Goal 3

Create and Preserve Senior Housing

Support age-appropriate resources in affordable and workforce units, rental and owned

Objective 3.1: Create needed rental and homeownership opportunities for seniors

Objective 3.2: Incorporate supportive services in rental housing developments

Objective 3.3: Increase use of universal design in development

Housing | Goal 4

Create and Preserve Housing Units for Persons Below 50% of the Median Income

Increase affordable housing for lowest-income individuals and families

Objective 4.1: Create rental units for households below 50% of the median income

Objective 4.2: Help families pay no more than 30% of their income on housing

Objective 4.3: Create and preserve communities in a way that is representative of the WNC natural landscape