The Housing Development Alliance (HDA), a nonprofit affordable housing provider based in Hazard, has been awarded major funding for key, community-building projects that will take place over the next several years.
The funding will aid in launching the agency’s new Hope Building program and a new campaign in which HDA will bring affordable housing and home-saving repairs to 1,000 families in 10 years. Having served 1,000 families in its first 25 years, the new campaign heralds the agency’s commitment to increasing its production greatly.
“We’ve developed this new initiative as a means to meet the huge housing, economic, and community development needs of our service area,” said Scott McReynolds, HDA’s executive director. “The funding will help us maintain a high level of production as we undertake these important, new ventures.”
HDA has been awarded a $50,000 grant and a $250,000 program-related investment (PRI) by the Appalachian Impact Fund (AIF), a social-impact investment fund located at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky dedicated to supporting community economic development.
The PRI will be used by HDA to finance construction in its Hope Building program, which provides participants, who are leading lives in recovery, with paid, on-the-job training in energy efficient, residential construction.
Designed to help recovering addicts successfully re-enter the workforce, participants in Hope Building will assist in constructing 15 houses over the course of three years.
AIF’s commitment to HDA is a groundbreaking move, marking the first time that a foundation located in Appalachia has made this type of program investment in another agency in the region.
“We’re building capacity in the region for the region,” said Lora Smith, AIF’s fund manager. “By investing in HDA, we’re helping to offer economic opportunity for all people, while also keeping assets and wealth at home in our local communities.”
The single-family homes built by HDA’s Hope Building program will be sold to moderate income households in the area.
McReynolds said the funding from AIF made it possible for his agency to secure further funding from The James Graham Brown Foundation, which recently provided a grant of $500,000 to HDA.
The grant, which reflects the Foundation’s deep commitment to the Appalachian region, will be used for capacity building and operating support as HDA embarks on its ambitious plan of housing 1,000 families within the next decade.
“We are proud to partner with HDA in this endeavor,” said Mason B. Rummel, president and CEO of the James Graham Brown Foundation. “Every grant we give is made with the aim of creating a brighter future for people throughout Louisville, the city Mr. Brown called home, and Kentucky.”
Rummel continued, “A stronger East Kentucky will improve the economic outlook for the entire state. The goals of HDA reflect our belief that a flourishing, vibrant Kentucky is within reach.”
HDA’s McReynolds is confident the bold plan will pay off for the communities his agency serves.
“We want to use the power of housing to transform lives and to build a brighter future for our communities,” McReynolds said. “So, not only will these projects help us overcome the broken housing market, but they will also serve to keep our families housed, provide jobs, instill hope in the recovery community, and bring more economic stability to our region.”
News about the launch of Hope Building and the kickoff of HDA’s new housing campaign is forthcoming.