Affordable Housing on the Gulf Coast
February 10, 2017
Calvert Foundation is pleased to announce our closure of a loan to Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) that will finance the construction of affordable housing throughout the Gulf Coast region.
GCHP was founded in 2006 with the mission of revitalizing communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Over the past decade, GCHP has grown its real estate portfolio to 34 developments across Louisiana and Mississippi. These properties provide over 2,230 units of affordable housing and 125,000 square feet of space for community facilities and service providers. The organization continues to deepen and expand its impact, it has over 1,000 housing units in its development pipeline, and over 385,000 square feet of community facility and service provider space. It began construction on its first affordable housing development in Alabama in 2016 - the revitalization and preservation of a 98 unit historic building in downtown Montgomery.
Despite significant investment in the region, research suggests that more than a decade on, life in The Big Easy hasn’t been so easy. Economic recovery post-Katrina has been uneven. The poverty rate in New Orleans is about 27 percent, double the national average. Fifty percent of African-American children live in poverty, and the average African-American family earns just $25,000 per year, versus $60,000 for white families.
One of the ways that Calvert Foundation addresses these issues is by investing in the creation of affordable housing. Our goal is to ensure that families do not have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities. If housing costs exceed this affordability threshold, families can become trapped in poverty. A recent study found that families that spend over half their income on housing spend 38 percent less on food, 55 percent less on healthcare, and save 42 percent less for retirement than households that have access to affordable housing. By increasing the supply of affordable housing, we can lift families out of poverty and dramatically improve their quality of life.
Through our loan to GHCP, we continue to further our mission to enable people to invest for social and environmental good. To invest to support affordable housing today, visit vested.org/affordablehousing.