Local Health Foundations Address Affordable Housing With Repair Grants

Sep 28, 2021

The Nantahala Health Foundation and Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation hope to address the region’s housing crisis by helping homeowners keep their homes livable.  

Lori Bailey, executive director of nonprofit Nantahala Health Foundation explains their new Healthy Homes Initiative.

“If you’re a family that is really struggling to get by already then you need a little assistance just to keep it in good repair going forward and so that you are able to keep living there,” said Bailey.

Keeping up homes already built would cut down on construction material costs according to Robin Tindall, the executive director of Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation. 

“Relatively small repairs such as damaged floors or windows all the way to roof replacement or HVAC systems. Repairs like this can mean the difference for an elderly couple to stay in the home or have to leave the home,” said Tindall. “So we consider this a very critical important initiative for healthy homes in our region.”

The Nantahala and Highlands Cashiers Health Foundations were both formed after the sale of Mission Health System to for-profit HCA as a legacy foundation for the six westernmost counties of the state and the Qualla Boundary.

Bailey adds it also helps keep homes in the family to build generational wealth, something she says is especially important in a region where much of the population is over 60 years old.

“If that housing isn’t kept in good repair then that creates a blessing rather than a burden going forward,” said Bailey.

The two foundations have received $400,000 from Dogwood Health Trust, the over-arching foundation formed by the Mission Health sale to HCA.  The funds will be given nonprofits to help homeowners at 60% of the area median income who are in need of help.

Grant applications to be a partner providing repairs will be open until October 15th.   Information regarding the grant application process can be found at Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation or at Nantahala Health Foundation.

If you qualify for home repairs contact the foundations to be partnered with an organization.

Disclosure: Dogwood Health Trust is a business sponsor of Blue Ridge Public Radio.