HOPE of the Midwest (HOPE) is a consortium of banks formed to pool funds to make loans on affordable housing projects financed primarily through the federal tax credit program. The consortium structure spreads the risk across multiple participants, thereby limiting each participant’s interest rate and credit risk exposure. HOPE loans also serve as a good source of CRA credits for our bank participants. In addition, with HOPE’s in-depth knowledge of the affordable housing industry, banks are able to participate in this highly technical space without having to develop that expertise in-house. Our mission is to help build a brighter future for communities throughout the Midwest region by helping to preserve or increase the supply of safe, well-built affordable housing for families, workforce, and seniors.
How did we come up with HOPE?
We wanted to utilize a name that was easy to remember and that demonstrated our mission- to provide safe, well built, well managed affordable housing for workforce employees and seniors. The below market rents charged allow the tenants' housing costs to be reduced from 50% and upward of gross income to approximately 30% , like most middle income Americans. The Consortium is being modeled after a dozen consortia around the Country, most of which have been making loans for 20 plus years.
A bank can join HOPE by completing a simple application and paying a one-time fee based on bank asset size. We also ask the bank to pledge the total dollars they are willing to commit to lend over the next three year
time frame. This pledge allows us to know how many projects we can realistically fund. An initial group of 10 banks have indicated their desire to join and become involved with numerous others requesting information about membership. An interested bank can contact HOPE to obtain a current listing of members.
Why is affordable housing so important?
We believe everyone deserves the right to have safe, decent, affordable housing. With the housing and economic recession of the last several years, many Americans can no longer afford to own their own home or rent market rate rental units. Affordable rental units, financed with Federal tax credits, are in greater demand than ever in recent history. Most affordable complexes are fully occupied with waiting lists of applicants.
HOPE Leadership and Contact
HOPE is being lead by Billie Wade, a CPA and former Banker who has 20 years of experience lending to and investing in affordable housing projects. Wade knows most all the major players in the industry- developers, syndicators, consultants, nonprofit groups, etc. that are active in developing affordable housing. Wade can also introduce developers to officials at HUD, FHLB of Cincinnati, Ky Housing Corporation, City Housing officials, all of whom provide funding sources.