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Habitat for Humanity Utilizes U.S. Bancorp's Tax Credit Assistance to Help Build 294 New Homes in Communities Affected by Hurricane Katrina

ST. LOUIS & ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 2008--Five Gulf Coast Habitat for Humanity affiliates will build nearly 300 houses in communities affected by Hurricane Katrina with the help of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financial assistance of St. Louis Missouri-based U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC).

USBCDC worked with Habitat for Humanity International's Community Development Entity, based in Atlanta, and Smith NMTC Associates LLC, based in St. Louis, to best utilize Habitat's $25 million NMTC allocation granted by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury for use in the Hurricane Katrina Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. USBCDC then invested $7.8 million of equity into the program, which encourages investment in low-income communities in exchange for tax credits over the next seven years.

The result is that each of the five local Habitat affiliates will be able to maximize their building efforts with access to additional funding and will be able to help even more low-income partner families move into Habitat homes financed with affordable, no-profit mortgages.

"This marks the first time that a model has been developed enabling HFHI to assist its affiliates' ability to use NMTC funding leverage to increase their capacity," said Drew Marlar, Habitat for Humanity International's associate general counsel. "Habitat for Humanity is developing additional sources of funding to serve even more families who are in need of access to affordable housing."

Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Mississippi that will benefit are Habitat for Humanity/Metro Jackson and Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi. Habitat for Humanity in Mobile County in Mobile, Ala., will also be able to access the funds, as well as Louisiana affiliates Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West, located near New Orleans, and Bayou Area Habitat for Humanity in Thibodaux.

Tracey Gunn, USBCDC Project Manager, said "We're thrilled to put this model together because it is a perfect example of the public-private partnership the NMTC program was designed to create."

"This fund will not only make funds available to recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast, but will also serve as a national model for future Habitat affiliates looking to use NMTC to finance the construction cost of new housing," commented Marc Hirshman, USBCDC senior vice president of Historic and New Markets Tax Credit Investments.

Smith NMTC Associates LLC created and refined the NMTC model for Habitat for Humanity International. As administrative managing member, Howard Smith, a St. Louis area real estate attorney and developer and a 15-year Habitat volunteer, along with attorney/writer Donna Smith, who has worked in governmental compliance for years, will continue to oversee the Habitat affiliates' and the CDE's compliance with the program and distribution of funds. Howard Smith said, "This program taps into Habitat's goal of giving people a hand up, rather than a hand out, and Smith NMTC Associates is pleased to be able to participate in this program that will help so many low-income families gain access to affordable housing."

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built nearly 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

U.S. Bancorp's Community Development Corporation

With assets of over $5 billion, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation is the largest New Markets Tax Credit investor in the country. It also finances affordable housing and community development projects through the use of low-income housing, historic, and renewable energy tax credits. It is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $247 billion in assets, and of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 2,542 banking offices and 4,895 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

CONTACT: U.S. Bank Media Relations
Lisa H. Clark, 608-877-7517

SOURCE: U.S. Bancorp

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