SECU Foundation’s first teacher housing project comes to WNC

Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus - Group Photo

Press release from the State Employees’ Credit Union: 

The dedication of the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus drew a crowd of supporters to Asheville on Tuesday, applauding a housing initiative aimed at attracting and retaining teachers for Asheville City and Buncombe County schools.  Representatives from State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) and SECU Foundation joined local leaders and educators for the official Ribbon Cutting of the 24-unit apartment complex, a collaborative effort between SECU Foundation, Asheville City and Buncombe County School Systems, Eblen Charities and Buncombe County.  Credit Union members, through their Foundation, provided Eblen Charities with a 15-year interest-free loan of up to $2.8 million to build the apartments, offering area teachers an affordable place to call home.

SECU Foundation Board member Michael Clements spoke at the ceremony.  Highlighting Credit Union members’ support for the project, he remarked, “We are pleased to be part of this housing initiative – one that has been made possible through the hard work of many individuals and partnerships.  The Foundation’s funding for the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus demonstrates our members’ commitment and desire to help provide a quality education for today’s students while continuing to build strong relationships with North Carolina educators and local communities.”

The Buncombe County Campus is SECU Foundation’s first teacher housing project in Western North Carolina, replicating previous initiatives in Hertford, Dare and Hoke Counties.  These projects offer a unique and resourceful funding concept with the loan being repaid through rental income, allowing SECU Foundation to help fund future projects in other counties throughout the state.

“We are grateful to the members of State Employees’ Credit Union for this opportunity,” said Bill Murdock, CEO of Eblen Charities, developer and project administrator of the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus.  “Since the early days of Eblen, we have strived to reach out to those in need to help move our community forward.  This unique partnership between Eblen, SECU Foundation, Buncombe County and our County and City School Systems only serves to underscore the importance educators have in our community.  It is an honor for us to be able to help provide such a wonderful place for them to live.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for nearly 80 years.  The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trust and estate planning services, and investments through its partners and affiliated entities.  SECU serves 2.2 million members through 257 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone and a website,  The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services.  Since 2005, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of more than $130 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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