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Initiative’s 2013 grant investments create opportunities for families, communities and organizations

July 2, 2014 – The Initiative awarded $2.1 million in grants during 2013 to 26 nonprofit organizations that promote economic growth in low-income and traditionally underserved communities across North Carolina.

Nineteen received Community Enterprise Fund grants, which they leveraged with funds from other public and private sources to implement strategic economic development plans in their communities.

Seven received Capacity Building grants to help community economic development organizations increase their capacity to make a positive impact on their community.

“Our 2013 grants supported organizations and projects that touched lives and promoted economic growth in some of our state’s most economically disadvantaged communities,” said Meena Ahuja, senior program officer. “The work that our partners were able to complete in a year of dramatic funding cuts is impressive and we are proud to have supported each of them.”

The Initiative’s 2013 grant recipients leveraged their funding to complete projects or manage programs that had a real impact on their communities, including:

  • More than 100,000 North Carolinians were housed, counseled, trained or otherwise served by Initiative-funded organizations in 2013.
  • Initiative partners provided affordable rental housing to more than 2,000 low-income individuals and families through property management or ownership.
  • 1789 families saved their homes from foreclosure through housing counseling services provided by our partners
  • 180 new jobs were created directly through businesses owned by Initiative grant recipients; these nonprofit-owned social enterprises produced more than $3 million in sustainable funding for these organizations in 2013.
  • $13,000 worth of locally grown food was sold to low-income families using EBT at farmers markets in Asheville, thanks to Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s efforts to make healthy, local food more accessible.
  • Partners built or rehabilitated 144 homes for low-income families.
  • Nonprofit-owned business incubators provided the means for 35 small businesses to start or expand, and created 49 new jobs.

In addition to these numbers, Initiative grant recipients completed innovative projects that created affordable housing, jobs and strong, thriving communities, including:

  • East Carolina Community Development Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its largest multi-family development to date, Wellington Grove apartments in Jacksonville. The 88-unit apartment community provides safe, affordable housing to more than 200 residents and created three permanent jobs and 163 temporary ones.
  • On Sept. 10, the mixed-income East Village subdivision in Monroe received a 2013 Housing North Carolina Award for achievement in affordable housing. The subdivision is the result of a partnership between Initiative grantee Monroe-Union County Community Development Corp., the City of Monroe and a private developer. The strength of the partnership allowed the team to rework their strategy when the recession hit and resume construction with a new developer. The 28-home neighborhood incorporates SystemVision standards for energy efficiency, resulting in average heating and cooling costs that are guaranteed not to exceed $30 a month.
  • Passage Home completed construction of a new medical clinic in southeast Raleigh. The building is a new, larger location for the Debnam Clinic which has provided primary medical care for thousands of people in the community since its founding in 1961. Passage Home led the clinic renovations and will lease the buidling to the Debnam family as the first step of a comprehensive community development strategy to reduce poverty and homelessness in the area.
  • In Asheville, Eagle Market Streets Development Corp. (EMSDC) launched a commercial sewing business and workforce development program called Block by Block Industries which employs two full-time and three part-time workers, and brought in nearly $10,000 in its first year to support EMSDC’s community economic development activities. The innovative social enterprise will provide job training to low- to moderate-income individuals from chronically unemployed communities.

For more information on the Initiative’s current funding opportunities for community development organizations, visit http://ncinitiative.org/financial-investments or contact Kevin Harris, president of Initiative Capital, at kharris@ncinitiative.org or 919-835-6004.

The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit www.ncinitiative.org.