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Kingdom Community Development Corporation celebrates 20 years, honors partners

Aug. 3, 2015 – Spring Lake-based Kingdom Community Development Corporation celebrated 20 years of work June 18 recapping its successes in revitalizing low- and moderate-income communities and honoring partners that helped advance it mission.

Executive Director Elsie Gilmore recognized current and former board members and staff, consultant Berniece Lindsey, attorney Steve Bunce, Cumberland County, City of Fayetteville, Freddie Mac, N.C. Community Development Initiative, N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations, BB&T and First Citizens. She also recognized the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, whose executive director Bob Kucab gave keynote remarks at the event, and Carl Manning, who served 14 years as executive director until Gilmore succeeded him in September, and now serves as the agency’s director of development.

“Certainly, it is because of you that this day was made possible,” Gilmore said of the honorees. “We believe that low-to-moderate income people are the same as everybody else, they just have lower incomes. We believe that affordable housing is a right, not a privilege. We also know that bad things happen to good people, and that’s why we partner with agencies that feel the same way.”

Cumberland County Commissioner Charles Evans was among the partners who praised Kingdom’s work and impact.

“What started out as a small neighborhood organization grew into a full-fledged community development corporation we honor tonight,” Evan said. “This nonprofit organization is making a difference in the lives of so many people. Our whole community benefits from the economic and community development efforts that provide jobs and training.”

Founded in 1995, Kingdom’s mission is to build affordable housing, provide homeownership counseling, restore and revitalize low- to moderate-income communities and promote economic development through business development, education and training of youth in Fayetteville and surrounding counties.

A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved counseling agency, Kingdom provides homeownership and foreclosure counseling and financial education. It develops energy-efficient affordable housing, providing an economic stimulus and construction industry training through its projects.

It is also a model for social enterprise development, operating some of its real estate projects as rental units and building and operating an IHOP restaurant franchise in Spring Lake –  both to generate revenues that help sustain its operations and funds its community development work.

Kingdom has leveraged public and private-sector investments to build 75 affordable housing units and help more than 4,000 individuals with foreclosure prevention, foreclosure mitigation and homebuyer education. A 30-unit affordable housing community is currently under construction in Spring Lake, a second Kingdom-owned IHOP restaurant is under development in Holly Springs and a YouthBuild program is planned to get youth ages 16-24 back in school and employed.

For more information about Kingdom Community Development Corp., visit www.kingdomcdc.org.