Enterprise Invests $9.5M to Build 700 Affordable Homes

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorColumbus, Ohio–Enterprise Community Investment Inc., has invested $9.5 million using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to assist Columbus Housing Partnership in financing the construction or rehabilitation of up to 700 affordable homes in Columbus, over a period of seven years.Nationwide, Huntington Bank and World Financial Network National Bank, a subsidiary of Alliance Data, along with the city of Columbus and the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County are investing in the project along with Enterprise.“Columbus Housing Partnership is a long-time partner of Enterprise and we look forward to partnering with CHP to create these affordable homes for local families earning less than 80 percent of area median income,” says Charles R. Werhane, vice chairman and CEO at Enterprise Community Investment Inc. “In addition to homes, this project creates construction and service jobs that will help boost the local economy.”The homes will be developed by the Columbus Housing Partnership (CHP) and its Homeport division, and the Central Ohio Housing Development Organization, over a seven-year period and will include targeted communities in central city neighborhoods. This development will partner with the city of Columbus’ Home Again initiative to improve city neighborhoods and increase homeownership opportunities. With more than 4,100 vacant homes, the Home Again program seeks to rehabilitate vacant properties for productive use, facilitate homeownership and prevent the decline and disinvestment in city communities. “Building up neighborhoods starts with quality, affordable housing, and it takes partnerships like this to get the job done,” says Mayor Michael B. Coleman.The money will be loaned to Homeport and the Central Ohio Housing Development Organization to be “recycled” throughout the seven-year NMTC compliance period, during which up to 700 homes will be constructed or rehabilitated. Proceeds from home sales will be used to finance the next set of homes until loan maturity.