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Six in Six Week 2: CAHEC

In 2002, Dawn moved into Bryson Creek Apartments, a CAHEC-sponsored LIHTC property in Bryson City, NC. As a single mother of three, she was using HUD, food stamps, and Medicaid to support her family.

When her youngest child was five months old, Dawn began studying radiology at the local community college. Living in a CAHEC-sponsored community, she was eligible to apply for the David T. Peet Adult Scholarship, one of CAHEC’s Community Programs available to its residents. While in school, Dawn struggled with extremely serious family health issues, but she continued to work part-time at a diner and pursue her rigorous degree program full time. As she reports, “I could not have done it without the assistance of the CAHEC scholarship. CAHEC helped me avoid student loans up until the very last semester in school.” Dawn graduated in May 2007 with an associate degree in radiologic science.

In 2008, Dawn decided to take the necessary steps toward owning a home. As one of the first steps, she enrolled in the homebuyer’s education course required for CAHEC’s Homeownership Program. Then she applied and was approved for a Rural Development loan through the USDA. Based on what she had learned, she was able to avoid tempting offers that could have created a financial strain and waited until the “right” opportunity came along. Because she had completed the homeownership program requirements, Dawn received a $3,000 grant from CAHEC to supplement her personal savings.

After seven years as a resident at Bryson Creek, on November 25, 2009, Dawn and her children moved into their four-bedroom, two-bath home on an acre of their own land. Looking ahead she said, “My children will have a large yard, we will grow a garden, and everyone will be able to say ‘this is my house’. The sense of accomplishment that comes with this is enormous. Not only am I buying my own house, but I am doing it as a single mom after illness and adversity.”

Created in 1992 to help finance the development of affordable rental housing in North Carolina, CAHEC today is a nonprofit equity provider operating throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region. In our nonprofit role we are committed to empowering the people living in the properties that we help finance that is why we created the Community Programs more than 10 years ago. The NC Housing Coalition also works to improve the lives of low and moderate income residents in North Carolina. Their advocacy in Raleigh and Washington, D.C. is essential to the continuation of the tax credit program. They need our support to continue to advocate for people like Dawn. Please help by becoming a member of the Coalition or making a personal contribution today.


Katherine Occhipinti

Community Programs Manager

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