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PROVIDENT NATIONAL BANK FIRST AREA CORPORATION TO INVEST IN NEF, BOOSTING LOW-INCOME HOUSING FUND REGIONAL TOTAL TO $12 MILLION

 PROVIDENT NATIONAL BANK FIRST AREA CORPORATION TO INVEST IN NEF,
 BOOSTING LOW-INCOME HOUSING FUND REGIONAL TOTAL TO $12 MILLION
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Provident National Bank and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have announced that the bank will invest $1 million in LISC's 1991 National Equity Fund (NEF), a national effort to help create affordable housing for low-income residents in Philadelphia and other communities across the nation.
 Provident is the first Philadelphia-based corporation to invest in the fund.
 "We are excited and proud to be an active participant in the National Equity Fund," said Richard L. Smoot, president and chief executive officer of Provident. "We expect these developments will transform people's lives as well as transform our neighborhoods."
 The National Equity Fund was created by LISC in 1987 to provide corporate resources for the production of low-income housing and the renewal of communities across the country. A total of $4 million has been earmarked for development this year in Philadelphia, bringing NEF's total investment in this region over two years to $12 million. The $12 million will enable locally based sponsoring organizations to develop a total of 280 apartments for low-income renters.
 "No greater infusion of private funding in support of affordable housing has been provided to Philadelphia than this $12 million in low- income housing investments," said Philadelphia LISC program director Michael Tierney. "Provident's substantial investment of $1 million now signals to local corporations that investing in low-income housing is fiscally, as well as socially, responsible."
 The 1991 fund's $4 million will provide equity funding to three North Philadelphia non-profit developments, yielding 63 homes for low- income families and individuals. (Last year NEF committed $8 million to develop 217 units of low-income housing in the Philadelphia area.)
 The three developments funded by the 1991 fund's $4 million are:
 -- Villas de HACE, a 24-unit, two- and three-bedroom complex to be erected at the corner of North 6th and Marshall streets, sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises. Dedicated to providing rental units affordable for families earning up to 50 percent of Philadelphia's median income level (currently $19,150 for a family of four), the apartments represent the first new residential construction in the Ludlow neighborhood in more than 10 years.
 -- Villanueva Townhouses, a 24-unit development to be built at the corner of 7th and Somerset streets. Targeted to low-income single women with children, the two-, three-, and four-bedroom townhouses are sponsored by the Women's Community Rehabilitation Project, which works in economically devastated eastern North Philadelphia to provide housing opportunities and social services to low-income women. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Feb. 6.
 -- Green Street Apartments, to result from the transformation of five abandoned row houses in the 1100 block of Green Street into 15 accessible living units for the physically disabled. The project is sponsored by the Housing Consortium for Disabled Individuals in partnership with the Philadelphia Urban Investment Corporation.
 Since 1987, the NEF has raised a total of $397 million to create more than 11,000 rental apartments owned and developed by non-profit, community-based organizations throughout the United States.
 The basis of the fund is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which provides corporations with federal tax credits in return for their investment in the creation of long-term rental housing for low-income tenants. Established by the federal government as part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the LIHTC was recently extended for six months, expiring on June 30, 1992.
 "The public-private partnership that we are recognizing today will create much needed housing that neither the government nor the private sector could have developed alone," said U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.), who is a co-sponsor of legislation permanently extending the tax credit. "Unfortunately, while the need for affordable housing grew over the past decade, the federal government's critical role in creating new housing opportunities has decreased. It's time to commit ourselves to working to extend the low-income housing tax credit. The future of such a vital housing program -- and the thousands of families it can help -- should not be left in doubt."
 LISC is the largest community development support organization in the country. It operates in more than 30 communities throughout the nation -- from Philadelphia to Los Angeles -- providing technical assistance and "first dollars in" for non-profit development efforts. LISC encourages private lenders, investors and government agencies to join together as partners in community revitalization. In the 11 years since its founding by the Ford Foundation, LISC and its affiliates have raised $588 million to help more than 700 non-profit developers expand their efforts to reclaim and rebuild their communities.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/24/92
 /Editors: Please note that a related release, LISC Announces $128 Million Housing Fund, will move shortly on PR Newswire as PH022, and is embargoed for release 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 27./
 /CONTACT: Colleen Puckett of Provident National Bank, 215-585-8272, or 215-755-6413, or Marilyn Katz, 312-944-5706, for the NEF, or Michael Tierney, 215-923-3801, for the LISC/ CO: Provident National Bank; Local Initiatives Support Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:


CC-MK -- PH010 -- 3332 01/24/92 13:22 EST
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