Affordable Housing Gets a New Lease on Life

Mercy Loan Fund provides final piece of financing for preservation project

(ADRIAN, MI) — Adrian Village Apartments have provided 114 low income families with a safe, decent, affordable place to call home since 1987. The owner, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (LSSM), recently completed an extensive renovation of the property, thanks to funding from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Mercy Loan Fund partnered with LSSM to preserve this critical housing resource by providing a permanent loan of nearly $1 million.

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program is the most successful affordable housing program in our nation’s history, producing and preserving close to 100,000 affordable rental homes annually through nearly $100 billion in public-private equity partnerships. In Michigan, the Housing Credit has provided critical financing for the development of 81,370 affordable homes. LSSM won an allocation of this competitive resource in order to finance the renovation of Adrian Village.

Projects financed through the competitive Housing Credit also need a small amount of permanent debt. In seeking a lending partner with the flexible terms to allow them to repay the construction debt from a commercial lender, LSSM reached out to Mercy Loan Fund, which shares their mission of serving low income people. Unusually for a CDFI, which typically does short term lending, MLF was able to lend Adrian Village just under $1 million for 16 years.

“MLF lends where traditional bank financing is either unaffordable or unavailable,” said Julie Gould, President of Mercy Loan Fund. “More and more, this includes filling the gap for long term debt to leverage the Housing Credit. Adrian Village is a great illustration of the need to preserve the affordable housing we have, in addition to building more.”

One resident who shared her story was able to join the Adrian Village community via a referral from the Catherine Cobb women’s shelter. Adrian Village has given her infant daughter a safe, healthy place to play and grow, including a toddler playground and a kitchen to cook family meals. Thanks to a variety of federal and local subsidies, Adrian Village will serve everyone from working families to people with special needs to people leaving domestic violence situations. LSSM’s community partners will provide services to help the residents achieve self sufficiency. The energy efficiency improvements completed during the renovation resulted in a Green Communities certification from Enterprise Community Partners. The renovation also increased accessibility at the property as well as livability through the addition of dishwashers and central air conditioning.

“As stewards of our housing on behalf of the low income Michigan residents we serve, it was a pleasure to be able to ensure that Adrian has high quality affordable housing for years to come,” said Mark Stutrud, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

About Mercy Loan Fund
Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of the national affordable housing organization Mercy Housing, provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities. Since 1985, the organization has made 454 loans in 38 states totaling $245 million, resulting in 19,400 affordable homes for over 52,200 residents. These loans have leveraged more than $1.7 billion in total development funding. Mercy Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Mercy Loan Fund was formed with the goal of supporting the mission of Mercy Housing by making loans for affordable housing developments when conventional financing is not possible or affordable. For information about Mercy Loan Fund, please visit www.mercyloanfund.org.

About Lutheran Social Services of Michigan
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan was incorporated in Detroit in 1934 as the Lutheran Inner Mission League. Today, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan spans the state’s Lower Peninsula with more than 70 programs in 40 cities. Last year, they helped thousands of people through programs as varied as refugee resettlement, affordable housing, shelters for people who are homeless, group homes for people with developmental disabilities, home based senior care, skilled nursing facilities, services to help women transition out of prison, after school care, family stability, and adoption services.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s