Letter from the Board Chair & President/CEO
2019 represents Olive Hill CEDC’s 21st year of service to the greater communities of Burke, Caldwell, Catawba and McDowell Counties. As with any approach to a milestone year – whether it be in business relationships or our own personal lives-we reflect on the many years behind us and envision the years ahead. After nearly 2 two decades of leading grassroots housing and community development initiatives in our region, one thing is clear: there is a housing crisis in our area and Olive Hill is positioned to assist.
To that end, how do we work towards solutions as we move into our twenty-second year? We believe in changing the conversation. It is complex and challenging and the fix for our housing crisis will not happen overnight, but the effort we put in today will create a better future and opportunities for the Unifour region tomorrow. The solution is not just in maintaining homes and creating more, but ensuring that facts are at the center of the conversation, that compromise is not a bad word, and everyone’s voices are heard equally.
To shift the conversation and the outcome takes engagement and empowerment from both the bottom up and top down. Recent examples of this within the community include collaborating with a local church to construct seven (7) new single-family units and rehab 1 house for their project. This project will house up to eight (8) families or more who are housing insecure with support services filling the gaps needed to maintain stable employment, complete education, and improve workforce skills to guide them to economic stability and thus out of poverty. The economy has had a serious impact on Olive Hill’s finances. We e been up and down, but through it all we have consistently stayed on mission. In a letter dated September 27, 2019, Olive Hill received the certification as a ‘Community Development Entity ‘through the US Treasury Departments’ Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI). A Community Development Entity (CDE) is a domestic corporation or partnership that is an intermediary vehicle for the provision of loans, investments, or financial counseling in low-income communities. Certification as a CDE allows organizations to participate either directly or indirectly in the New Markets Tax Credit Program. CDE’s mission is to align capital with social, economic, and political justice. WE look forward to offering this vital investment tool.
As we ramp up for our 22nd year of service, we are clear on the incredible role home plays in our lives, the lives of our children, our community and our overall economy. It is our safe haven and our sanctuary, and is something we all deserve. For those that have been a part of our journey thus far – our Board of Directors, our team members, our funders and our community alliances-thank you. We are committed to taking our efforts to the next level as we celebrate this milestone and we are counting on you to be a part of the movement. For those we are just meeting for the first time – we welcome you to join us on this journey of Building Community Together 2020 and beyond!