FAHE is a regional non-profit based in Berea, Kentucky whose mission is to lead its network of Appalachian organizations to sustainable growth and measurable impact through collective voice and access to capital that creates housing and promotes community development. As a financial intermediary, FAHE brings together community-based nonprofits and regional partnerships to connect resources with communities in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
FAHE's ultimate goal is to reduce systemic poverty by improving housing conditions of low-income people living in Central Appalachia and bolstering the region’s economic potency. They provide a wide variety of business lines in pursuit of these goals, including:
- Mortgage lending: affordable and alternative lending for low and middle income families.
- Commercial lending to nonprofits: cash flow loans for a project, operating expenses or purchasing equipment.
- Consulting services: comprehensive planning and technical services for neighborhood revitalization, economic development, community projects and infrastructure projects.
- State and national advocacy on behalf of its Members
- Equity funds targeting Central Appalachia: financing affordable rental housing for low-income and special needs families.
- Mortgages: $11.3 million to 159 families
- Loans to nonprofits: 26 loans to nonprofits totaling $6.3 million
- Equity: Placed $6.5 million to construct 32 rental units
- Consulting: $12 million to 10 projects
As a membership-based organization, FAHE is committed to facilitating partnerships among organizations, corporations and individuals. Each of FAHE’s Members has strengths that make them outstanding organizations. When FAHE started its Berea Performance Compacts, FAHE and its Members committed themselves to building on individual strengths to accomplish more together. The promise to work collaboratively has borne four initiatives: volunteer management, loan servicing, manufactured housing and multi-family development. Through these Compacts Members share core competencies to develop models that can be replicated, allowing other Members to focus on their strengths.
FAHE targets families living in Central Appalachia earning less than 80% of the local area median income. Recently, FAHE has branched out to reach middle income families who are not traditionally bankable, including those with reasonable credit issues, victims of predatory lending or families who earn too much to qualify for subsidy. For example, the national poverty threshold for a family of four is $21,200. But in Owsley County, Kentucky, the median income is $18,000, which means even though they do not qualify for assistance, even though their income is below the national poverty threshold. FAHE’s equity funds and consulting services support rental housing and community facilities for the disabled, the elderly and other disadvantaged populations.
FAHE’s commitment to working together has paid off. FAHE’s $30 million portfolio’s 30-day delinquency rate is down delinquency rate is down to 1.68% without increasing foreclosure, even with an average borrower income of $20,000. During fiscal year 2008:
In May 2005 FAHE launched “Achieving Your Mission”, a mini-seminar designed to help Members move from mission-driven ambition to goal-driven strategies that lead to effective outcomes. Achieving Your Mission is founded on the leadership teachings of Douglas K. Smith, author of Making Success Measurable and co-author of The Wisdom of Teams. What sets Achieving Your Mission apart from other management development programs is the performance challenge each participant sets for their organization as a vehicle for learning.