Many people banter about community issues but few are moved to action. More than twenty-five years ago, a group of concerned people were discussing the severe lack of affordable housing in our area. The need could not be ignored and wouldn’t be resolved by simply talking about it.
In 1989, The Most Rev. P. Francis Murphy, a native of Cumberland, organized a group of religious and lay leaders in Maryland to address the growing need for affordable housing. This group, guided by the expertise of The Enterprise Foundation, established the formation of the Western Maryland Interfaith Housing Development Corporation. Interfaith began staffed operations in 1992 as little more than a vision, operating out of a spare bedroom in the home of James Upchurch, the founding CEO. Committed to providing affordable housing in the Western Maryland Region, Jim was a true advocate for this cause.
Thanks in large part to what was begun by Bishop Murphy, Upchurch, dedicated board members and staff and now carried on under the expert direction of current CEO, Patricia Motter, the Board of Directors, and staff, Interfaith Housing Alliance – IHA as it is called today , has provided 1300 units of affordable housing throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania.
By increasing housing opportunities and strengthening programs to ensure housing stability, IHA is a regional leader. We consistently partner with and support clients to increase their ability to find housing.
In the past two years, the Purchase Repair Homeownership Program which is one of only six pilot programs under USDA Rural Development, has helped 21 families find homes of their own. In addition, there are several communities currently being planned and soon to be unveiled. Stay tuned as IHA helps the ever growing need to find affordable workforce, and senior housing!
From humble beginnings to exciting future endeavors, IHA continues to do the very best for the community we serve. There is a very real need and we are fulfilling that need in extraordinary ways. For more information about our programs and all the good we do here at IHA, visit our website at www.interfaithhousing.org or call us at 301.662.4225.