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Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises

Achieving Your Mission
Achieving Your Mission

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.

When Karen Jacobson set the performance challenge for Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA), she wanted to have a greater impact on affordable housing. So she set a goal to expand production and improve efficiency in order to have a greater impact and move toward 50% of total revenue from non-federal sources. In pursuing this goal, RCHA launched a new development called Highland Meadows. Situated in historic Elkins, West Virginia, Highland Meadows is a planned community designed to bring quality, convenience and natural outdoor appeal together in one affordable locale. The idea is revolutionary for a small housing authority, which are typically dedicated to affordable rental housing and administering Section 8 vouchers.

In order to secure the financing necessary to move forward with Highland Meadows, the project needed to secure additional contingency funds, but with the national housing crisis blossoming that was easier said than done. Jacobsen presented the dilemma to FAHE’s Commercial Lending staff, who proposed a solution: FAHE would underwrite RCHA, instead of the project, to offer a better interest rate than the bank could offer. RCHA could then loan the money to the project. “It was so easy” said Jacobsen. “They proposed the solution and it went just as they outlined. That was the real linchpin that made all the rest of the money flow.”

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