Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MacArthur Foundation Introduces Public-Private Partnership to Preserve Affordable Rental Homes

Over the past 10 years, the United States lost two million units of federal assisted rentals due to expired government subsidies, demolition, or conversion to condominiums. Another one million units are at risk in the next decade. The MacArthur Foundation has long supported affordable housing and community development through the Window of Opportunity Initiative, a $150 million dollar effort which seeks to preserve affordable rental housing in low-income communities across the country.

As part of this ground-breaking effort, the Foundation has announced an innovative public-private partnership bringing together financial institutions, philanthropy, and the federal government in order to finance the preservation of federally-subsidized rental housing in underserved markets. The MacArthur Foundation has pledged $20 million and aims to attract $100 million for non-profit developers working to preserve and renovate approximately 20 rental properties nationwide that will serve more than 2,000 low-income residents. Already, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, and Toledo are moving forward with renovations of affordable rental housing for low-income families and seniors.

According to the press release, the National Affordable Housing Trust and the Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC jointly closed an investment fund through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, a program providing incentives for private investment in developments serving low-income renters. Major investors in the fund include JPMorgan Chase, MetLife, and United Bank.“This fund is an example of how public and private organizations working together creatively can engineer socially responsible investments that work for everyone involved, most notably the residents of the affordable housing that fund will preserve,” said David J. Reilly, Cornerstone’s president and CEO.

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