Foundation for The Carolinas reports multi-million dollar affordable housing endowment success

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Foundation For The Carolinas says it has received more than $15 million in new commitments in its efforts to improve access to affordable housing.

Novant Health’s $6 million pledge to the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund – a private-sector affordable housing fundraising campaign – pushed the fund past its $50 million goal to $53 million, the foundation reported. Duke Energy also committed $2 million and the Howard R. Levine Foundation granted $1 million to the private-sector fund, which is aimed at increasing affordable housing in Mecklenburg County.

The foundation also announced that A Way Home – a public-private partnership between FFTC and the City of Charlotte – completed its $20 million endowment campaign thanks to a $250,000 gift from Moore & Van Allen. In addition, The Leon Levine Foundation further increased the endowment with a grant of $5 million, and the Howard R. Levine Foundation committed $1 million to the initiative, for a fundraising total of $26 million. A Way Home addresses family homelessness through rental subsidies and complimentary wraparound services provided by Mecklenburg County.

“I’m proud to support a housing initiative, among others, that is making a real difference,” said Leon Levine. “A Way Home provides a hand up for homeless families. The fact that 75 percent of those families that complete the program remain in stable housing on their own shows real success.”

Currently, Mecklenburg County faces a deficit of more than 36,000 affordable housing units. The foundation’s campaign to raise $50 million from the private sector for the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund matches the $50 million bond referendum voters approved last November to increase the City of Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund.

The Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund was jumpstarted in May 2018 with a $5 million program-related investment from Foundation For The Carolinas. In a little over a year’s time, the campaign raised $53 million, with an additional $104 million committed to other affordable housing efforts outside the fund, including land donations and reduced-lending rates. The Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund will be held and managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and will work in tandem with the City’s housing trust fund.

In total – including the $50 million from the City’s housing trust fund; $15 million from Mecklenburg County primarily for rental subsidies; a $25 million pledge from LISC; and the $26 million raised for A Way Home – more than $270 million in public and private sector funds have been committed to support affordable housing and neighborhood development.

“These commitments cap off two campaigns that saw extraordinary generosity throughout the private sector,” said Foundation For The Carolinas president and CEO Michael Marsicano. “We are grateful for all of the organizations that answered this call. The time is now to address access to affordable housing, and I’m appreciative that so many organizations recognized this and committed to this worthy cause.”

Increasing access to affordable housing and providing opportunities to build equity through home ownership were key recommendations of the Leading on Opportunity report, which provided a roadmap for improving economic mobility in Charlotte Mecklenburg. The increased public Housing Trust Fund – as well as the new private sector fund – were both direct recommendations of the report.

In addition to Novant Health, Duke Energy and the Howard R. Levine Foundation, contributors to the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund included Ally, Atrium Health, BB&T, Bank of America, Barings, Crescent Communities, Fifth Third Bank, Foundation For The Carolinas, SunTrust and Wells Fargo.

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