Strength in Numbers: Fahe’s Membership Network

“Our staff is small. Using Fahe allows us to remain small, keeps our overhead down and helps me to avoid hiring new employees that I can’t afford. Utilizing Fahe’s staff to help us package these [USDA 502 Direct] loans makes it affordable and they offer expertise to the product that we don’t have.”

-Blake Enlow, Executive Director of COAP

A Time Tested Approach

The Fahe Membership Network is comprised of nonprofit companies, many of which focus on affordable housing. The partnership between Fahe and each of these Members is very important, but even more important is the relationships that are developed between the individual companies themselves. Real relationships are formed from our network between groups that may have never met otherwise. Each of these organizations have different experiences and different skillsets which provide value to the group as a whole.

We depend on our individual Members and these relationships because we can’t do it alone. The tasks of affordable housing and community development are vast. By having a strong relationship with nonprofit companies that are directly involved with the issues we are facing, it provides us with better insight and direction.

Having strength in numbers is a time tested and proven formula for success. It allows us to provide the best quality to the people we service and it allows us to have a collective voice that produces better results than speaking alone.

What We Provide

Fahe boasts a number of in-house services including mortgage lending, loan servicing, underwriting, finance management, and investment. Access to these services and the expertise of the staff is readily available to our Members. This is a great boon to smaller operations with less funding for full time professional staff.

Being part of the network also provides unique collaborations between organizations that would normally not have come about.

A Network is a Web

Fahe does not sit in the center of the network. We are available as a resource to the Members and we help to sponsor events, such as our quarterly caucus meetings, but this is a supporting role. The Fahe Network can be thought of as a web. There are several lines of communication going from one organization to another. Over time, all the organizations, including Fahe, have access to one another. No one is acting as a middleman. This leads to strong communication and strong collaboration across the network.  We trust and we depend on each other.

Currently, the Fahe Membership is made up of 46 nonprofits spread across Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia. Many of these groups had initial contact with each other through Fahe.

Member Testimonials

To learn more about how the Fahe Network helps nonprofits and the communities they serve, please read and listen to the below testimonials from some of our members.

“Without Fahe and JustChoice Lending, we could not provide many of the housing services we offer to our community.”

-Cindy Ross, Program Director at Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties

“The most critical success metric for any collaboration is this: is it stronger, and does it accomplish more, than would the sum of its parts individually? Fahe is a model of collaboration that works. The Fahe Network engenders cooperation, seeks out mutually beneficial opportunities, and supports one another through successes and setbacks, because participants in the network know that our communities will progress most quickly when all of Appalachia moves forward.  Dr. King spoke about injustice anywhere being a threat to justice everywhere. I think that one of the Fahe Network’s core beliefs is an economic corollary to that: poverty, despair, and inadequate housing anywhere in Appalachia are a threat to communities throughout Appalachia and beyond.”

-Tom Manning-Beavin, Director of Housing at Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

“Fahe has been COAP’s safety net. In times of extreme strife, Fahe was there to help us off the ground and start rebuilding our organization. When I was hired as Executive Director, Fahe and its Members have helped me with the steep learning curve of running an agency like COAP.”

-Blake Enlow, Executive Director of COAP

“The Fahe Network has many challenging and very inspiring leaders.”

-Wilma Kelley, Executive Director of Beattyville Housing & Development Inc.

“As a member of Fahe, Community Housing Partners — and the communities we serve — benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of the network. Through the sharing of innovation and best practices, each Member organization gains valuable resources to more effectively address the needs of rural Appalachia.”

-Janaka Casper, President and CEO of Community Housing Partners