Givens Awarded $4 Million Grant from The Duke Endowment

GivensGivens has been awarded a $4 million grant from The Duke Endowment to support housing for seniors in Asheville, North Carolina.  This grant, along with a $700,000 grant from the Endowment (December 2014), is enabling Givens to construct Givens Gerber Park, an affordable senior living community in south Asheville.

Givens Gerber Park will be built in three phases.  When completed, it will be a rental community that will pair housing with supportive services for low to moderate income seniors. The $35 million project, comprised of 262 one and two-bedroom apartments, is currently under construction near Gerber Village, an urban area with access to public transportation, grocery stores, pharmacies, and shopping. The project will also include an innovative café, medical clinic, library with computers, fitness center, exercise classes, art/crafts classes, a large community room with a fireplace and kitchen, raised garden beds, a large screened community porch, tenant storage areas, a food pantry, and some transportation.

Phase One (120 apartments) and Phase Three (60 apartments) will serve persons with incomes approximately less than $24,000 per year.  Phase Two (82 apartments) will serve persons with incomes of $24,000 to $45,000 a year.  There is a great need for affordable housing for seniors with incomes of less than $45,000 a year.  Specifically, many middle-income seniors do not qualify for low-income housing but still need the support and services senior community living can provide. Phase Two offers a senior housing option that addresses this currently underserved segment of the aging population.

Givens Gerber Park will be unique, as it will provide a new model of care that pairs housing with supportive services to enable residents to age in place, thus reducing the need for more costly assisted living and skilled nursing. Givens Affordable Communities Director Teresa Stephens adds, “Housing with supportive services cannot happen without partnerships. Givens is fortunate to have longstanding, deep relationships with community partners like MAHEC, MANNA, and CarePartners, who will contribute to making this a sustainable model. We also are cultivating new partnerships with Western Carolina University, Green Opportunities, and other organizations that can help make this a vibrant community for our residents.”

Givens Board Chair Greg Hutchins says the Gerber Park project will provide much needed housing for the Asheville area. “We are so grateful for our relationship with The Duke Endowment and are enthusiastic to be partnering with them to develop this unique middle income model, which we believe meets a significant need and can be replicated across the nation.”

Givens is committed to serving older adults across the income spectrum. Through a variety of subsidized, affordable, and market rate housing options, the organization currently serves more than 1,200 residents in senior living communities in Western North Carolina. Givens also reaches out into the region and touches more than 6,000 lives annually through outreach efforts and partnerships with other nonprofits. Givens is a mission and ministry related to the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

Construction on Phase One is expected to be completed in late 2016, with Phases Two and Three anticipated in 2017. For more information about the new Givens Gerber Park community, e-mail, call 828-771-2207, or visit