Friday, October 9, 2009

Social Investors Find ‘Silver Lining’ in Foreclosure Crisis by Partnering With Nonprofits

The Christian Science Monitor reported recently that affordable housing purchased by social investors is allowing low-income earners to find community-oriented housing in expensive markets from Marin County, Calif., to New York City. Areas where teachers, waiters, and receptionists typically can’t afford to live are now within reach, thanks to a growing number of partnerships between housing nonprofits and investors.

In Columbus, Ohio, NeighborWorks member Columbus Housing Partnership has forged a new partnership with regional lender Huntington Bank. Together, they formed the Huntington Homeownership Alliance, a three-year, $10 million effort that funds home buyer education workshops, online virtual foreclosure counseling, and loan products designed to help families buy houses from CHP’s inventory of affordable homes.

CHP President and CEO Amy Klaben pointed out to The Christian Science Monitor that despite the increase in socially responsible lending, sustainability is a challenge. Though CHP can now buy five homes for a relative bargain, if there are still 15 more vacant houses on the street, “you aren’t making a market impact,” Klaben said.

Read more.