Builders Of Hope Launches National REO To Rental Program With Up To $100 Million For Property Acquisition And Rehabilitation

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Builders of Hope’s “Upcycle” program is now acquiring foreclosed, vacant homes in major East Coast cities with plans to expand nationally in 2013.

Upcycle is unparalled in the sense that it was designed solely with the end occupant in mind,” said Nancy Welsh, Builders of Hope. “We are committed to rebuilding America by converting devalued structures into healthy homes for working-class Americans.

Builders of Hope today announced the launch of its Upcycle program designed to transform foreclosed, vacant properties into energy efficient, affordable rentals for working-class Americans. Through the program, Builders of Hope will acquire properties through partnerships with land banks, national lenders, mortgage servicers and government entities. The organization has secured up to $100 million for property acquisition and rehabilitation.

The Raleigh-based nonprofit is an established and innovative leader in affordable housing and urban renewal. Since its founding in 2006, the organization has successfully created and rebuilt neighborhoods by providing high-quality, safe and sustainable workforce housing through the reuse of existing inventory.

“The Upcycle program is specifically designed to address the many interconnected housing issues that the nation is struggling with – the lack of affordable rentals, the surplus of foreclosed houses, the neighborhoods suffering from blight and the inefficient state of our existing housing stock,” explained Nancy Welsh, founder and CEO of Builders of Hope. “Upcycle is unparalled in the sense that it was designed solely with the end occupant in mind. From assessment to responsible rehabilitation, our organization is committed to rebuilding America by converting devalued structures into quality, healthy homes for working-class Americans in need."

A National Model for Housing Success
Builders of Hope has existing systems in place that position Upcycle to achieve success on a national level. The organization is already managing assessment, acquisition, rehabilitation, leasing and sales, credit counseling and property management.

Upcycle will benefit from strategic partnerships with nationally recognized organizations that allow Builders of Hope to operate effectively across state lines. As part of Upcycle, Builders of Hope is partnering with the National Community Stabilization Trust, a national non-profit working to stabilize neighborhoods hit hard by high levels of foreclosure and abandonment, and Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI), a national non-profit consumer credit counseling agency.

“Builders of Hope has a track record of success in urban renewal and community engagement,” said Danny Gardner, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Stabilization Trust. “The Upcycle program holds promise to positively impact neighborhoods that have been devastated by the foreclosure crisis.”

Upcycle For A Better America
The Upcycle program benefits communities, renters and the environment, and it will employ thousands of construction and real estate professionals. The program will help communities re-populate neighborhoods, which in turn stabilizes home prices, increases safety, improves aesthetics and attracts additional investors.

Upcycle will make available thousands of energy efficient affordable rentals in each market. A stable, long-term rental through the program will help low- and middle income residents restore their credit ratings, avoid further disruption to their families and prepare for the possibility of purchasing a home when market conditions stabilize.

Upgrading America’s Existing Housing
Builders of Hope will also improve the quality of thousands of aging homes by prioritizing energy efficiency, air quality and safety renovations.

“The days of approaching a rehab by slapping on a coat of paint and changing the carpets are over. Rehabbing and retrofitting these foreclosed houses is the single, greatest opportunity our country will have to upgrade the existing housing stock,” continued Welsh. “Improving a home’s energy efficiency helps reduce energy bills, which in turn increases disposable income for households who need it most.”    

Houses acquired as part of the Upcycle program will be rehabilitated with green features based on the age and current performance of the structure. Upgrades may include new HVAC systems, insulation, window replacements, low-flow toilets, Energy Star lighting and appliances, low-VOC paint and flooring.

About Builders of Hope
Since 2006, Builders of Hope, a Raleigh-based non-profit, has rebuilt homes and lives by providing safe, affordable housing to working families. Builders of Hope is working with officials throughout the country to forever change the face of affordable housing through its “Upcycle” program and “Extreme Green Rehabilitation.” The organization and its innovative model received an award from the National Housing Conference for “Pioneering Housing Strategies.” Builders of Hope has projects underway in Raleigh, Durham, Fuquay-Varina and Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; New Orleans, La.; and, Dallas, Texas. More information is available at http://www.BuildersofHope.org.

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Katie Kiefer
Fedoruk & Associates, Inc.
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