Scott Henry always knew he wanted to be a developer and first became interested in the affordable housing industry while getting his architect degree from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. But before starting his dream career, Scott had some setbacks along the way and he attributes Mercy Portfolio Services as helping him get back on his feet.
In 2008, Scott left his banking job and decided to take a leap of faith and start his own company but with the economic turmoil in 2008, his initial success was stalled. Scott was left in an unfamiliar spot – for the first time he was unemployed.
Luckily, because of the relationships he had built in his 10 years in the banking industry, Scott was introduced to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Through this program, Mercy Portfolio Services acquires rehabs and reoccupies foreclosed homes through their management of the City of Chicago’s $169 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program of 2008.
“The Chicago Neighborhood Stabilization Program goes beyond the bricks and mortar. It’s created 2,139 jobs and impacted 22 neighborhoods,” said Darlene Dugo, Regional Vice President of Mercy Portfolio Services.
Scott responded to a request for a specification writer position and was accepted. He was back in the affordable housing industry and on his way back towards his dream job.
“The spec writer position gave me a lot of work and a steady income stream. It made the difference between me having to move my family and being able to keep living and trying. ” stated Scott.
After a year as a specification writer, Scott took another leap of faith and submitted a Request for Developer Qualifications to be a developer for the rehabilitation and sale of foreclosed properties. His luck finally had turned around and he was awarded three properties through the program. Now, three years later from his first property, business has only increased.
Scott believes the NSP has not only helped many communities and people, but it has also helped him become financially stable and allowed him to take some steps forward toward his future.
And Scott plans on continuing to work with Mercy Housing in different aspects. Today, for example, he is in the process of renovating an old building into a supportive living facility and was just approved for a bridge loan from Mercy Loan Fund to ensure the project comes to fruition.
“I see more opportunities to work with Mercy Housing in the future, and I strongly believe in their mission,” said Scott.