Closing the health insurance coverage gap in NC 101

Under the Affordable Care Act, it was intended that every person have access to affordable health coverage. The law made it mandatory that states expand their Medicaid programs so that low-income people would be able to get Medicaid. But a Supreme Court decision gave states the option instead of mandating them to expand their Medicaid ...

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Mountain Housing Opportunities

APRIL LEWIS STORY “ I was in a shelter that had a limited time to house me. Living in an MHO apartment has changed my life because I’ve been able to raise my son and live the life of my dreams. These apartments are safe, clean, large, bright, beautiful and affordable. I’m so blessed and grateful to live here.” April was living in a ...

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Affordable Housing Glossary: A to Z

As you navigate through the complicated waters on local, state and federal housing policies and studies, it may prove beneficial to know the alphabet soup of acronyms and programs that address this important issue. We hope the following glossary of terms will aid you as you become informed and engaged with the challenges and successes ...

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Affordable Housing 101: Why it Matters for Children

When families with children have access to affordable housing it broadens opportunities for their children’s success and strengthens our community. Children are most adversely impacted by the shortage of safe, affordable housing in Asheville and Buncombe County. Housing instability leads to greater family stress that can negatively impact ...

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Why is the Earned Income Tax Credit important?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a powerful tool that offers a pathway to success for hard-working, low-income families. It has helped lift millions of families out of poverty. The EITC ensures that our tax code is fair and just for all families, so the burden is not placed on our lowest income earners. The EITC is a key policy to help ...

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Changes to child care subsidy eligibility affect low-income parents

The Child Care Subsidy Program promotes opportunity and success for working parents and their children. The program provides income eligible parents that are working or in school/college a voucher to cover part of the cost of licensed early childhood, preschool, and after school learning and care programs. This helps lower-wage working parents ...

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Trying to Make it Work on Minimum Wage

Full-time work should provide for a family’s basic needs. But many working families in Buncombe County cannot afford the costs of housing, food, transportation, and health care. In fact, many working families live near or below the federal poverty line ($23,000 for a family of four). One of those families came into the Children First/CIS  ...

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Beyond the Classroom: Alleviating Stressors So Students Can Succeed

“I couldn’t pull any more good out of this school year,” Brandy Odum says with a laugh. “And it didn’t start out that way. It was rough at the beginning” Brandy is the single mother of five children, ages 15, 10, 8, 6 and 3. The beginning of the 2013-14 school year started with its share of challenges. Her 10 year –old son needed ...

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MANOS: Inspiring Latino Youth

The middle and high school years are challenging for most youth, but when you add the responsibility of being the vehicle for your families’ acculturation, or the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group, the challenges can be overwhelming. For many Latino families, they face isolation due to language ...

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Doubling Up in a Double-Wide

“This shack is all mine”  Pat says with a good natured laugh, but behind the laughter  is frustration and weariness as well. “The floors are caving in because of years of water damage . Some of the leaks in the roof go straight into the light fixtures. Every time I turned on a light, I was afraid I’d start a fire or get ...

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Elaine Sargent: Homeownership Help from Habitat

6 years ago, in 2007, it was me standing here as a new partner family with big emotions and great big anticipation.  At the time I kept telling everyone I felt like I had won the lottery.  I can tell you that without Habitat I would still be paying rent.  I was humbled by the support and encouragement I received from the habitat staff – ...

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MHO’s Self-Help Program: Building A Dream Home

“Momma, when are we ever going to get a house?” It was a question Treva Williams’ youngest daughter, Cierra, always asked. After 13 ½ years of living with five people in a two-bedroom apartment, Treva knew that it was time to take a leap of faith. While living in the Mountain Housing Opportunities River Glen Apartments, she received a ...

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What is the City’s Plan for Affordable Housing?

An Overview of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee by Children First/CIS Director of Advocacy, Greg Borom In 2008, the City of Asheville released an Affordable Housing Plan that was the culmination of months of discussions and meetings by community leaders, activists, developers, and nonprofits. The City of Asheville created the ...

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Bridging the Gap at the YWCA’s Drop-In Child Care Center

Jammie Wright was stuck. A single mom with three children, she was working full-time towards a Surgical Tech Certificate at A-B Tech so that she would have more employment opportunities.  Yet she didn’t have the resources for full-time childcare, and was on the waiting list to receive a state child care voucher. Her two high school-aged ...

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