Earlier this month, Cunningham received the Cathie Dodd Award for Outstanding Advocacy from the Tennessee Affordable Housing Coalition.
The TAHC was established in 2004 and aims to connect, educate and advocate for housing opportunities Tennessee.
The Cathie Dodd Award was created in 2016 to honor the work of Dodd of the Woodbine Community Organization of Nashville. According to the TAHC, the nominee is someone who stimulates the conversation about affordable housing in an exemplary way to the public.
“I see the singular focus Terry brings to the security of our families,” said Esther Rodolphe, chair of the KHRA board of directors. “He thinks of the overall good for the community as he prescribes changes. His dedication is inspiring and we are all better because he has invested his energy with us.”
Cunningham graduated from Indiana State University in 1979 with bachelor’s degrees in business administration and accounting. He has worked in affordable housing since 1979, previously in Indiana and Georgia before being hired as the executive director of the KHRA in 1996.
Cunningham oversaw the redevelopment of the Riverview community and more recently, is working with community partners, stakeholders and residents to develop the Midtown Neighborhood Transformation Plan. This plan includes the demolition and redevelopment of Lee Apartments and the rehabilitation of Cloud Apartments, Dogwood Terrace, Holly Hills, Tiffany Court and Charlemont Apartments.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Cunningham said. “It was a surprise and I am very honored to be recognized by my peers.”
Cunningham is the third recipient of the award, named for an effective and selfless housing advocate. Previous honorees include United Housing Founder and first Executive Director Tim Bolding (Memphis), posthumously, and Nashville Davidson County Mayor Megan Barry.
TAHC members were asked: “Who inspires you?” The nominations committee considered Cunningham’s leadership at the state level as a member of THDA’s Board of Directors, as an early leader in the Tennessee Affordable Housing Coalition, and as an active member of the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (TAHRA).