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Media Release

Self-Help, NCC Development Initiative Partnership for Affordable Housing in Rocky Mount

Feb 26, 2020

Durham, NC | February 26, 2020 - Self-Help announces the purchase of 58 properties through a partnership with the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, more commonly known as the Initiative, earmarked for affordable housing in Rocky Mount, NC. The purchase allows the Initiative to refocus its efforts on serving North Carolina’s communities through its lending products, while bringing Self-Help’s affordable housing and community real estate experience to Rocky Mount.

The properties are a part of the Rocky Mount Revitalization Initiative, an effort to build a vibrant and economically mixed housing market by developing vacant and blighted property into high-quality affordable housing for renters and homeowners. 

 “Self-Help is a natural partner in Rocky Mount and in the affordable housing field,” says Kimberly Askew, Interim CEO of the North Carolina Community Development Initiative. “As the Initiative emerges from a year of strategic planning and vision-casting in order to refocus our efforts on lending, we’re excited to hand over our Rocky Mount portfolio to a community partner with a deep history in community development and a proven track record of executing on our shared affordable housing goals.” 

“Rocky Mount is a critical community in Eastern North Carolina that will increasingly face growth pressures going forward,” states Brika Eklund, Self-Help Director of Real Estate. “Self-Help will continue to build upon our real estate and community development experience and we’re looking forward to helping preserve local neighborhoods while creating and sustaining affordable housing in Rocky Mount for the future.” 

As Rocky Mount’s economy grows, many downtown core neighborhoods are vulnerable to the effects of gentrification and displacement, caught between the competing interests of economic growth, income disparities, and housing affordability. Like many smaller cities in North Carolina, Rocky Mount still experiences the lingering effects of the Great Recession and a history of discrimination and structural exclusion.  Additionally, Rocky Mount continues to recover from devastating natural disasters which led to severe flooding across Eastern North Carolina.

Self-Help has a long history fighting for economic equity and opportunities for home ownership across North Carolina, with particular focus on affordable housing.  With a downtown branch in the former Peoples Bank building - an historic property owned and renovated by Self-Help - as well as additional real estate development and lending in the region, the credit union’s commitment to Rocky Mount remains steadfast. Self-Help will engage with community partners to evaluate the portfolio of properties and determine next steps for moving forward.

North Carolina Community Development Initiative, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, leads North Carolina’s community economic development efforts through collaboration, innovation, and investment in order to ultimately create prosperous, sustainable communities. By leveraging and deploying over $600 million in private and public capital to build and sustain affordable housing options, as well as create and preserve more than 11,500 jobs, the Initiative has created opportunities across the state. For over 25 years, with these opportunities, the Initiative has affected positive, measurable change for people who have historically been overlooked or left behind in North Carolina.

Self-Help, headquartered in Durham, NC, is one of the largest community development financial institution in the nation.  Since 1980, Self-Help has provided more than $9.1 billion in financing to over 172,309 families, families, individuals and businesses. We help drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Through its credit union network, Self-Help serves more than 154,000 people in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help is the umbrella organization for the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations, which includes Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending.

If you have questions about the purchase, please contact Kimberly Askew, Interim CEO at the Initiative (919-835-6072) or Brika Eklund, Director of Real Estate at Self-Help (919-956-4632).

More information about Self-Help Credit Union can be found at Information about the NC Community Development Initiative can be found at


Jenny Shields, Director of Media Relations, Self-Help Credit Union

Direct Line: 919.794.6798  Cell: 919.695.2037



Kimberly Askew, Interim CEO, North Carolina Community Development Initiative

Direct Line: 919.835.6072