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 CLEVELAND, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) and its affiliate, the National Equity Fund (NEF), today announced at the ribbon cutting for Mt. Pleasant Homes that they will invest $30 million over five years to create more than 750 units of affordable housing produced by non-profit community-based developers in Cleveland.
 The funds are part of an unprecedented $1.5 billion five-year national investment program announced last month by LISC, the nation's largest community development support organization, and NEF, the nation's largest syndicator of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The LISC/NEF announcement came just nine weeks after enactment of a permanent Tax Credit.
 At Mt. Pleasant Homes, a scattered site development of 50 single family homes featuring three bedrooms, single car garages, full basements and energy efficient appliances and gas furnaces, LISC Vice President Bill Jones applauded the work of local developers Mt. Pleasant NOW and Lutheran Housing as an example of what the $30 million commitment can achieve during the next five years.
 "We're confident that the commitment we announce today represents only the beginning and that Cleveland is part of a national movement unleashing the dynamic forces of corporate Tax Credit investment and community empowerment," said Jones.
 Cleveland Mayor Michael White said "LISC and NEF, through the Tax Credit, have played a key role in creating vibrant partnerships among community groups, local governments and civic and corporate leaders that are the bedrock of successful affordable housing and community renewal initiatives nationwide. We urge Cleveland's corporate community to join NEF in supporting the efforts of this city's community-based developers."
 Today's announcement was made at 3418 East 117th St. in Cleveland, one of 50 affordable rental homes funded by NEF in the Mt. Pleasant Homes development. The $4 million single family home rental program includes $2.8 million in equity financing for the new rental homes which are currently leasing for $350 per month to income-qualified families. Interested families may call Mt. Pleasant NOW at 216-751-0023 for information on availability of homes in the Mt. Pleasant community.
 The Zaremba Group, a national real estate development firm based in Cleveland, served as co-developer and general contractor for Mt. Pleasant Homes. Other financing partners for the development include Huntington National Bank, the City of Cleveland Housing Trust Fund and the Ohio Department of Development.
 "Our ambitious $30 million commitment recognizes our impressive track record nationally and here in Cleveland, where we have helped such local nonprofit groups as Mt. Pleasant NOW develop 75 units of housing with $4 million in Tax Credit investment and where we have received the support of such corporate investors as Society Bank and Bank One through their community development affiliates," said Cleveland LISC Program Director Rob Curry.
 "This investment has leveraged additional private, philanthropic and state and local government resources to provide nearly $6 million worth of development for struggling communities, transforming neighborhoods and lives," Curry added. "This housing is a testament to the efficacy of the now-permanent Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the primary federal tool for producing affordable housing."
 Creation of a permanent Tax Credit followed a six-year struggle. The temporary Tax Credit had enjoyed impressive bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate over the years, and a new administration in Washington that has put cities back on the agenda created the conditions to make the federal tax incentive permanent.
 In communities across the country, the Tax Credit, as used by LISC and NEF, has crystallized vibrant partnerships of community-based developers, local corporations, national philanthropies and government leaders. The technical and financial resources provided by these partnerships have helped transform abandoned housing and garbage-strewn lots into quality affordable housing, and vacant storefronts into thriving commercial strips.
 "The steadily increasing number of corporations that have joined with LISC and NEF vividly illustrates corporate America's growing social conscience and desire to sit down with community groups and craft solutions for the very real problems in the cities where they live and work," said Jones. "The evidence in Cleveland of growing corporate commitment gives us great confidence about our national goal."
 "It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of private investment to our efforts to rebuild our neighborhoods," said Mt. Pleasant Now Executive Director India Pierce. "LISC's and NEF's support sends a clear message to the business and banking community and to state and local government that they can provide us additional loans, grants and other funding with great confidence."
 Cleveland is one of nine cities and regions across the nation where LISC and NEF will make specific investment commitment announcements. The others are California, Chicago, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City, Boston and Little Rock. Investments will also be made in Detroit, Washington, Miami, Newark, Providence, Richmond, Seattle and other cities and regions.
 NEF's five-year investment will enable community groups nationwide to leverage additional public and private funds and finance more than 35,000 units of affordable rental housing. NEF and LISC announced this commitment at a national press conference in Washington, D.C. in late September. The event heralded the adoption of the permanent Tax Credit and highlighted community-based development's transformation of dozens of struggling neighborhoods across the country.
 Formed by LISC in 1987, Chicago-based NEF uses the Tax Credit to channel investment capital into affordable rental housing development, providing corporate investors with a credit on corporate taxes in exchange for investment in construction of rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. Since its creation, NEF has raised $620 million in investment capital from 100 U.S. corporations and supported the creation of more than 15,000 units of affordable housing.
 Established by the Ford Foundation in 1979, New York City-based LISC operates in 30 cities and regions throughout the country and provides financing and technical assistance to nonprofit community-based developers. Since its inception, LISC and its affiliates have raised more than $912 million from more than 1,100 donors and investors to help more than 875 neighborhood-based developers expand their efforts to reclaim and rebuild their communities.
 -0- 10/19/93
 /CONTACT: Marilyn Katz or Steve Thomas of NEF, 312-944-5706; or Rob Curry of LISC, 216-268-6244/

CO: Local Initiatives Support Corp. ST: Ohio IN: SU:

WB -- NY073 -- 4027 10/19/93 13:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 19, 1993

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