HOPE, Habitat Partnership to Build 41 Homes

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HOPE and Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast are celebrating NeighborWorks Week with the announcement of a New Markets Tax Credit Program loan that is building 41 new homes in Moss Point.

2014 NeighborWorks Week

2014 NeighborWorks Week

NeighborWorks investments positioned HOPE to help more than 10,000 people rebuild their homes and businesses. It is very fitting that we announce our most recent Gulf Coast housing partnership during NeighborWorks Week.

Forty-one new homes will be created thanks to a partnership between the Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) and Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. HOPE used $5 million in New Markets Tax Credits, a program managed by the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund, to support the project. Capital One purchased the federal tax credits, which provided financial resources to purchase materials and to cover other costs associated with the building of the high-quality energy efficient homes.

The announcement was made at the construction site of the home of Ms. Ednearl Epps. Ms. Epps is a lifelong resident of Moss Point, MS where she and her late husband raised 5 children. After working for 26 years with Huntington-Ingalls Industries, Ms. Epps retired. Ms. Epps found herself in need of a new home after hurricanes, termites and mold made her existing home uninhabitable. “Before Habitat came, I was homeless – living out of my car, in Atlanta with my daughter and in Mobile with my granddaughter,” Epps said. “I just feel wonderful and loved, and I am blessed.”

The announcement was also made in conjunction with NeighborWorks Week. During the week, NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations come together to celebrate successful partnerships that bring about neighborhood change. “It’s wonderful to see the way that Hope Enterprise and Habitat for Humanity have creatively used the New Markets Tax Credits to make a difference in the life of Ms. Epps,” said Don Phoenix, Vice President, Southern Region, NeighborWorks America. “Their work is not only changing the life of Ms. Epps, but is an example of the kinds of work being done in housing, including addressing energy efficiency, and healthy homes, to help countless others as NeighborWorks week is celebrated all across the U.S.”

HOPE is a community development financial institution that serves AR, LA, MS and TN, and a chartered member of the NeighborWorks network. This is the third NMTC transaction that HOPE has structured to develop affordable homes for low-income families with a Habitat affiliate and the second on the Gulf Coast. “Following Hurricane Katrina, our partnership with NeighborWorks played an instrumental role in building HOPE’s capacity to serve residents of the Gulf Coast” said Bill Bynum, Chief Executive Officer of the Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union (HOPE). “NeighborWorks investments positioned HOPE to help more than 10,000 people rebuild their homes and businesses. It is very fitting that we announce our most recent Gulf Coast housing partnership during NeighborWorks Week.”

All of the homes will be completed by the fall of 2014. “New Market Tax Credits have proven to be a critical resource for our organization in meeting community needs and revitalizing neighborhoods historically underserved. NeighborWorks has expanded our network of partners and grown our organization’s technical expertise, this NMTC transaction with HOPE being only one example,” said Chris Monforton, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Since its inception in 1994, HOPE has generated $2 billion in financing for entrepreneurs, homebuyers and community development projects, and assisted more than 500,000 individuals in low-income communities throughout the Mid South. Visit http://www.hope-ec.org and http://www.hopecu.org to learn more about HOPE.

Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was formed in January 2007 when Harrison County HFH and HFH of Jackson County merged organizations. Since then, HFHMGC has incorporated Stone County into its service area and has constructed or repaired more than 850 homes. HFHMGC works in partnership with community stakeholders to create innovative, sustainable housing solutions by empowering all members of our community to actively participate in creating opportunity for people to transform their own lives. To learn more, visit http://www.hfhmgc.org.

The NeighborWorks® network is an affiliation of more than 235 nonprofit organizations located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2013, the NeighborWorks network generated more than $5.8 billion in total direct investment and helped 300,000 individuals and families with affordable housing and counseling.

The NeighborWorks® network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks® America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. To learn more, visit http://www.nw.org.

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Scot Slay
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Hope Enterprise Corporation
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