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The Housing Partnership Network (HPN) announced plans to raise an additional $500 million over the next two years for its social-purpose real estate investment trust (REIT), the Housing Partnership Equity Trust (Equity Trust). HPN made the announcement as a featured commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) conference in June. The additional capital will be used to acquire, renovate and operate more than 7,000 affordable housing units around the country and create over 900 jobs.
HPN sponsors and operates the REIT, which fills a critical need for its non-profit members by allowing them to compete with for-profit developers and access long-term, low-cost capital to acquire apartment buildings quickly and efficiently within their communities. The added funds will also be used to increase participation of non-profit members, who also belong to HPN.
"In an era of limited public subsidies, we are committed to advancing innovative ways to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing,” said Thomas Bledsoe, President and CEO of HPN. “Expanding the Equity Trust in this way offers a unique opportunity to finance more affordable housing and unleash private capital in powerful ways to meet a social mission."
The Equity Trust launched in December 2012 with $100 million raised from Citi, Prudential Financial, Inc., Morgan Stanley, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and 12 non-profit members: AHC Inc.; BRIDGE Housing Corporation; Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.; Community Preservation and Development Corporation; Eden Housing, Inc.; Hispanic Housing Development Corporation; Homes for America, Inc.; LINC Housing Corporation; Mercy Housing; Nevada HAND, Inc.; The NHP Foundation; and NHT/Enterprise.
In keeping with its mission to preserve the stock of affordable and sustainable rental housing, the Equity Trust began acquiring properties earlier this year. The first transaction enabled Mercy Housing Lakefront to purchase a 128-unit property in Aurora, Illinois in April. The second transaction closed this month, allowing Eden Housing Inc. to acquire a 129-unit property in Fairfield, CA.