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 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