Mercy Housing Announces 5-Year Affordable Housing Plan

Mercy Housing, one of the largest affordable housing providers in the United States, unveiled six initiatives to support the nationwide organizations' 5-year strategic plan to close the gap between the supply and demand for affordable housing. Through the initiatives, Mercy Housing will develop, preserve and/or finance 60,000 affordable multifamily rental homes throughout the United States.

"Mercy Housing's mission is more critical than ever due to the downturn in the national economy. This 5-year plan will guide the organization during the next five years as we help individuals and families in need of housing," said Lillian Murphy, RSM, Mercy Housing Chief Executive Officer. "The main goal of the plan is to close the affordable housing gap of 12 million renters in need of housing."

Highlights of the six initiatives are:

Health Care and Housing Partnerships: Nearly one-third of people who are homeless have a chronic health condition. Mercy Housing in collaboration with its Strategic Health Care Partners will increase access to care for those in need of better health services.

Resident Services: Recognizing that shelter alone is not sufficient for long-term success and well-being, Mercy Housing offers programs at our properties that serve the needs of residents. Priority programs include health and wellness, education including after-school programming, and financial literacy and planning, among others.

Operating Excellence and Long-Term Stability: The organization will continue to focus on community impact (social, environmental and economic) as well as its business fundamentals to ensure long-term financial stability.

Stewardship of Property Portfolio: Mercy Housing will continue to deliver high-quality affordable homes through effective and environmentally sustainable practices.

Growth: In an effort to develop, preserve and/or finance 60,000 affordable multifamily homes, the company will create new investment opportunities and develop new sources of risk capital.

Public Policy Education and Advocacy: Collaborate with others to promote policies and regulation related to the production, preservation and operation of multifamily rental housing and sufficient funding for resident program and services. Priorities to be supported include:
--Support tax incentives for investments in affordable housing and community development.
--Advocate for regulatory and legislative changes to HUD's multifamily affordable housing and community development programs.
--Expand environmental sustainability in affordable housing production and preservation.
--Explore alliances and resources needed between health care and housing, especially for seniors.
--Stabilize communities severely impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

"Strengthening our positions in policy and advocacy allows Mercy to create an ongoing dialogue on issues of importance to affordable housing," said Brad James, Mercy Housing Board Chairman. "With our strategic plan, Mercy Housing will take a focused and disciplined approach and advocate for the actions it believes are necessary for the nation to narrow the affordable housing gap."