FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Director of Marketing and Communications
Dallas, Texas—Mercy Loan Fund (MLF), a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) today announced that it has provided a $7.0 million loan to Chesapeake Community Advisors (CCA) and Trinity Village Non Profit Housing Corp. (Trinity) for the acquisition of Forest Dale Apartments, a 206-unit community for seniors with low incomes in Dallas, Texas.
Forest Dale Apartments was built in 1967 and was one of the first projects to be financed through HUD’s Section 202 program. As the property was approaching the end of its 50-year mortgage, the affordability restrictions were set to expire. After considerable effort, CCA obtained 200 tenant protection vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the senior residents of Forest Dale, so that affordability would be preserved through 2037 and the residents would be able to remain in their homes.
“Not knowing whether or not I would have a home at Forest Dale, I would have to say this ranked in the top five stressors in my lifetime,” said Molly Hanchey, a resident at Forest Dale Senior Apartments. “I fell into personal panic mode. Where would I find a place to live? How could I afford the cost of a move? Becoming a burden to my family was not an option.”
Worried that she might not have a place to live, Ms. Hanchey immediately started to search for affordable housing. “That’s when the harsh reality became clear that Dallas had virtually no affordable housing available. What was available included only one facility specifically for seniors and the wait list for low-income facilities was typically one to two years,” she said. “Forest Dale is a secure facility with access to food markets and restaurants, medical facilities, public transportation, fire and rescue, and many other advantages. No other facility in Dallas even came close to providing these features.”
Ms. Hanchey’s findings are borne out by a recent report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which found that “Dallas-Fort Worth is tied for fourth among U.S. urban areas that offer the fewest amount of low income housing units.”
Seniors find themselves particularly vulnerable. According to a report by Make Room, a campaign to end the rental housing crisis in America, 1.8 million senior households suffer severe rent burdens, a number that is only expected to grow as the senior population grows and as affordable housing stock remains insufficient.
The deal will strengthen already-solid relationships; the loan is MLF’s eighth to CCA, and CCA has worked with Trinity on nine previous development projects.
“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with CCA and Trinity,” said Stefanie Joy, Lending Director at MLF. “With them, we are thrilled to be able to preserve this much-needed affordable housing, and keep the residents in their homes.”
“CCA is delighted to partner with Mercy Loan Fund and Trinity Village Non-Profit Housing Corporation on our eighth affordable housing development,” said David Prout, President of Chesapeake Community Advisors. “With the expiration of the affordability restrictions on these older Section 202 properties, affordable housing for seniors is at risk of conversion to market rents. The financing provided in partnership with MLF supports our efforts to provide a safe, decent and affordable housing resource for the low-income, elderly residents of Dallas, Texas.”
“Trinity Village Non Profit Housing Corp. is very excited to be a partner in the Forest Dale project” said Judith Transue, Executive Director of Trinity. “We are focused on combining good, affordable housing with a resident services program to address the services needs identified by the elderly residents in this housing development. We feel that housing linked with services has the best chance of creating a secure, long-term living environment for seniors.”
About Mercy Loan Fund
For more than three decades, Mercy Loan Fund (MLF), a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has focused exclusively on funding affordable housing and essential community infrastructure projects that support affordable housing. By collaborating with socially-responsible developers, MLF has helped finance the development of single and multifamily homes for rental and homeownership. These developments help underserved communities, including people with low-incomes, seniors, farm workers, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. MLF is a subsidiary of the affordable housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), headquartered in Denver, Colo. For more information, please visit mercyloanfund.org.
About Chesapeake Community Advisors
Established in 2001, Chesapeake Community Advisors (CCA) is one of the nation’s leading community development consulting firms, having served as a development consultant for more than 75 developments in 15 states. In that time, their development work has included affordable multifamily and market rate rental, historic renovations, affordable homeownership and multi-use developments. Being a transaction-based firm, CCA specializes in structuring and developing low-income, historic, new market tax credit and federally financed projects. In their role as developers and owners of affordable residential properties, they bring a unique understanding to the development process for both new construction and preservation. Learn more at ccadev.com.
About Trinity Village Non Profit Housing Corp.
Formed in 1990, Trinity Village and Community Non Profit Housing Corp. (Trinity) collaborates with the Church of God in Christ congregations and community organizations throughout the United States to develop high quality, affordable housing and rebated support services in targeted urban areas. Learn more here.