Thursday, January 12, 2012

NeighborWorks Invested More than $1.3 Billion in Rental Housing in FY 2011

The NeighborWorks network invested more than $1.3 billion into rental housing in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011. In addition, the number of rental homes owned or managed by the NeighborWorks network exceed 90,000 at Sept. 30.

“In one of the toughest markets for securing capital for quality, affordable rental housing, the NeighborWorks network pushed ahead and found the partners they needed to create great housing for families,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

The total investment represents more than 2,800 new apartments built by NeighborWorks, and more than 5,100 homes purchased or significantly rehabbed.

“The investment by the network in these homes created jobs all around the country and helped to secure the long-term availability of great places to live for working families,” added Fitzgerald.

The overall expectations are that the network’s total portfolio will reach 100,000 rental homes in 2013, through a combination of new member affiliation, purchase and new construction.

Despite the forecast for total NeighborWorks portfolio growth over the next few years, the outlook for the broader affordable rental housing is uncertain.

“Government housing budgets at all levels are under stress and the competition for capital priced at rates that make housing accessible for working families, while improved from a year ago, is still a factor in creating quality affordable rental homes for families with modest incomes. In short, the cost to construct, purchase and refinance homes to ensure tenant affordability remains a challenge,” said Fitzgerald.

Faced with these twin realities – reduced resources from government and higher borrowing costs and tight underwriting standards – NeighborWorks America is increasing its efforts to attract social investor capital to the rental housing market.

Fitzgerald noted that the two capital corporations associated with NeighborWorks builders and owners – Community Housing Capital, Decatur, GA, and NeighborWorks Capital, Silver Spring, MD – are essential to the overall effort to bring more social investor capital to the affordable rental housing sector.

Social investors such as the Calvert Foundation and the S.H Cowell Foundation are just two of the investors who have already recognized the triple-bottom line value of investing in quality, affordable rental homes.