NHPF-Authored Articles & Industry Reports

Affordable Housing News, Spring, 2017 Improving Properties, Improving Lives by Richard F. Burns, President, CEO & Trustee, NHPF

National nonprofit works to revitalize properties in low-income neighborhoods throughout the country. “It was an incredible show of force of people who were excited to see new housing going into this area.” —Richard F. Burns

Richard F. Burns

With 36 units of affordable housing, the new Harvest Homes development will have an enormous impact on the community revitalization of the East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. At the helm of the effort is The NHP Foundation, a national provider of affordable housing for low income individuals and families. The nonprofit organization, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, focuses on creating value-added affordable housing using a business-like approach. “The property is much smaller than what we typically do, but we felt that it was an important step in getting new affordable housing in East Garfield Park, an area that hasn’t seen housing development in many years,” says Richard F. Burns, President and CEO of The NHP Foundation. “The demand is huge there, and so, by delivering a nice, new and clean affordable housing property to an area that hasn’t seen it, you really make an impact on the community.” When complete later this year, Harvest Homes wilI be the first affordable housing development in the neighborhood in more than 15 years. Although the property is small, its potential impact has garnered the attention of numerous public officials and neighborhood advocates. “Generally, a groundbreaking [ceremony] for 36 units does not draw much of a crowd, and we had the mayor, a congressman, church leaders and the alderman,” Burns says. “It was an incredible show of force of people who were excited to see new housing going into this area.” A NATIONAL RESOURCE To date, The NHP Foundation has developed, acquired and renovated more than 13,000 units of affordable housing in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The organization now has 7,555 apartments across 43 properties in its portfolio.

Operation Pathways, provide a wide range of residential services to individuals and families. It is one of the founding partners of the Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET) and has entered into a joint venture with a major bank, establishing a $50 million equity fund for the acquisition of properties that will be preserved as tax credit developments within the next two years. One point of focus for the organization has been affordable housing for younger people. In a 2016 national survey the organization conducted, 76 percent of millennials (people born between 1984 and 2000) said they had had to delay or completely rethink the traditional idea of homeownership due to a lack of affordable housing opportunities. “A lot of millennials are putting off their housing decisions,” Burns says. “By delaying marriage, by delaying children and by delaying a lot of things that the prior generation was already doing at this point in their lives, it adds additional pressure on the need for affordable housing. There’s already a huge shortage of affordable housing in our country, and when you add in the growing number of millennials, we’re just increasing the unmet demand.” IMPROVING LIVES In Houston, The NHP Foundation is working to revitalize the Cleme Manor Apartments in the city’s Fifth Ward. In late 2016, the organization received $41 million for the effort from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the city government and PNC Bank. “The area around this property has had $35 million in public and private investment recently, including a new park and all types of new infrastructure,” Burns says. “The property had deteriorated physically, and it was in a high-crime area. The police and city

The NHP Foundation works to preserve and redevelop existing housing, find new construction opportunities and, through affiliate


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