In July 1995, the Town of Davidson and Mayor Russell Knox formed an Affordable Housing Committee. This committee was an outgrowth of the year-long Land Plan study which revealed that Davidson’s traditional mix of housing was threatened by rapid development and sky-rocketing land value in the region.
The Affordable Housing Committee submitted a report to the Town Board in February 1996. That report stated that the town “should do more to maintain a socio-economic mix in the population; that we should create housing options for the whole community; that we should support cultural diversity and enhance unity; that we should provide an inclusive range of housing types which serves renters, displaced persons, and those seeking ownership.”
The report recommended that a not-for-profit corporation be formed and requested that the Town pay legal and other start-up costs. In February 1996, the Davidson Town Board voted unanimously to approve the request, providing town support through staff and legal services, as well as giving $5,000 for other start-up costs. In addition, a $250,000 revolving fund was established that the Davidson Housing Coalition has used for the purchase of four homes. That fund from the town has been completely repaid, with interest. On April 11, 1997, the Davidson Housing Coalition was incorporated with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
For the first two years and four months of its life, DHC operated solely as a volunteer board. During this time the Board purchased, renovated, and placed families in four single-family homes, established a Land Trust modeled after similar successful programs, and secured federal funding to build affordable rental units, which became the award-wining Bungalows. The first Director began work on October 4, 1999.