Earlier this month, over 60 partners, community members, press and champions gathered in Durham, N.C. to celebrate the official launch of the Durham Affordable Housing Loan Fund (DAHLF). We, along with the other four partners – Self-Help, the City of Durham, Duke University and SunTrust Bank – were on site to commemorate this occasion.
Our president and CEO Tara Kenchen spoke at the press conference, sharing “this [DAHLF] is an innovative solution to a long-standing systemic issue in Durham, in North Carolina and frankly, all across our nation,” said Kenchen. “The work we do is about how we interrupt the system and sometimes change that system.” As a resident of Durham for over 20 years, she has seen the lack of affordable housing in the area and feels passionate about the issue this loan fund seeks to bring to light.
The systemic issue? Nonprofits, affordable housing groups and low-to-middle income families are often at a disadvantage when they are up against large developers and housing companies. Durham’s vibrant and inclusive community is no longer a secret, and the housing demand is steadily outgrowing the supply. As more people are drawn to the city with hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their families, certain groups of the population are put at a disadvantage. DAHLF aims to help create more affordable housing in Durham by leveling the playing field and giving all families the chance to purchase or rent a home.
During the press conference, Durham’s Mayor Steve Schewel described the loan fund as a game-changer for the city. With the two programs appropriately named Change Maker and Hope Builder, early estimates have projected the loan fund will provide over 1,000 affordable homes in the next ten years. In particular, we will manage the Hope Builder loan fund while Self-Help is responsible for administering the Change Maker loan. The celebratory press conference certainly embodied the hope this loan fund will bring to so many people.
As both an investor and co-administrator of the loan fund, we plan to be busy in the near future! This project underscores our belief that a commitment to the community and empowering local stakeholders through education, access to capital and, naturally, the opportunity to live where they want is possible, regardless of the competition that’s out there.
For more information on the Hope Builder loan, please contact:
Don Liles: 919.835.6002; Lending@ncinitiative.org