FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/26/2016
Denver, CO—Mercy Loan Fund (MLF), a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Denver, Colo., announced that it has partnered with Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI) to preserve 106 affordable homes for single parents in Denver, Colo.
MLF has provided MHI with a $5 million loan to refinance existing debt and perform capital improvements to MHI’s Decatur Place Apartments, a community that provides homes to single parents who want to get back on their feet. Residents, many of whom have experienced homelessness and don’t have a high school diploma, must work full-time, go to school full-time, or a combination of the two. The community helps its residents build stable lives by providing free services.
“Colorado has experienced exponential growth in the past few years, exacerbating its existing affordable housing crisis,” said Jason Battista, President of MLF. “As the housing market becomes increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever that we preserve affordable housing for single parents, and that we support them as they work to create opportunity for themselves and their children.”
Decatur Place Apartments is meant to help people like Rocío, who ran away from home at the age of 14 with her 22 year-old boyfriend. “I dropped out of the seventh grade, and two weeks later, I was pregnant,” she said. After giving birth to a son at the age of 15, Rocío’s partner became verbally and physically abusive.
“I would leave, he would find me, and he would tell me, ‘Either you come back, or I take your child away from you.’ I went back,” she said. “I had no hope, nobody to support me, until I came across Mercy Housing, 21 years ago. I knew there was HOPE. At the age of 19, after 17 failed attempts, I had finally escaped.”
Decatur Place Apartments gave Rocío the stability and support she needed to pursue her dreams. She went back to school, taking up to 21 credits a semester while also working two part-time jobs totaling 40 hours a week. “I was blessed to have onsite daycare, and I knew that my son was being taken care of while I was out creating opportunities for us,” she remembers. “Decatur Places’ two-year program gave me an opportunity to go to school, earn my degree, and continue moving forward.”
Today, Rocio is the president and founder of Inventiva Consulting, a transformational inspirational leadership company that “accelerates inspired leaders” through leadership development, marketing and business strategies. Inventiva shows leaders strategic easy step-by-step systems that help them achieve the results they are seeking with less effort and in the shortest amount of time possible. Her son is happily married and is a new father.
“For the past 21 years I have given to Mercy Housing, everything from school supplies to clothes to household goods, because I know that it makes a difference in someone’s life,” said Rocío. “Just like it did for me.”
About Mercy Loan Fund
For three decades, Mercy Loan Fund has focused exclusively on funding affordable housing and essential community infrastructure projects that support affordable housing. By collaborating with socially-responsible developers, Mercy Loan Fund has helped finance the development of single and multifamily homes for rental and homeownership. These developments help a variety of people including low-income families, the working poor, seniors, farm works, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with special needs. Mercy Loan Fund is a subsidiary of the affordable housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing. For more information, please visit www.mercyloanfund.org.