2020 marks Fahe’s 40th Anniversary of Building the American Dream in Appalachia. Earlier this year during our Virtual Spring Meeting, we celebrated our birthday with the unveiling of a timeline displaying Fahe’s accomplishments across the 1980’s. Today we are proud to dive into our history during the 1990s, a defining time for Fahe’s growth.
In terms of Membership, Fahe’s growth more than doubled in the 90’s, greatly increasing the number of communities served. By that time Fahe had gained a reputation for being an outstanding model for collaboration and its ability to attract and effectively administer outside sources of funding. By the end of the decade, Fahe stood strong with 27 nonprofit organizations.
In term of financial opportunity, Fahe hit several milestones over the decade. In 1990, Fahe reached $1 Million in total mortgage loans to families. In the following year, Fahe made its 100th mortgage loan and reached $2 Million in mortgage loans. A good portion of that growth can be attributed to the then new HOME Investment Partnership program which provided capital for Fahe’s own loan funds and enabled Fahe to access capital and grant funding for Members.
In 1994, President Clinton signed into law the Riegle Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act. Fahe’s Former President Dave Lollis was a keynote speaker at this historic event. In 1995, Fahe officially became a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) allowing Fahe the ability to invest even more into local leaders and underserved communities.
1998 was marked with Fahe’s 1500th House Blitz Build to commemorate the construction of 1,500 new homes across the Network.
In 1999, Fahe celebrated its 500th mortgage loan.
Towards the end of the 1990s, Fahe had coordinated the construction of over 1600 new homes, as well as 2,970 rehabilitated, 8,971 repaired, and 11,761 weatherized homes.
While these reflections at Fahe’s beginnings are great reminders of where we came from, they also serve as blueprints of our future. In the 90s, our Members were able to accomplish so much with small amounts of investments and resources by being innovative and unwilling to quit. As we face new challenges, our history serves as a reminder that even when times are tough with crises like COVID-19, we are resilient organizations supporting resilient communities and by working together and providing leadership and opportunity, Appalachia will continue to emerge stronger than it was before.
Thank you for joining us in our celebration of Fahe’s 40th Anniversary and in our celebration of looking to the future where we change the landscape to ensure no community is left behind. As always, we encourage you to join our 40th anniversary celebration by sharing your memories, pictures, and support for Fahe on social media. Please join in by using the hashtag #WeAreFahe. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.