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New $75MM+ Nashville Catalyst Fund to create, preserve, develop affordable housing
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Release issued 1135 28 June 2024 by the Office of Metro Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell, verbatim (pdf here):

Mayor Freddie O'Connell and Community Partners Launch the Nashville Catalyst Fund

Fund will launch with initial $75 million investment for affordable housing loans

Metro Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell today joined the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT), First Horizon, the Metro Housing Division, Vanderbilt University and other funding partners to launch the Nashville Catalyst Fund, a new tool to create, preserve, and develop more affordable housing.

To learn more about the Nashville Catalyst Fund, how to invest, or apply for a loan visit www.nashvillecatalyst.org.

Metro and partners created the Nashville Catalyst Fund to provide fast, flexible capital to mission-driven developers to enable them to move quickly in Nashville's competitive real estate landscape. The Fund will launch with an initial $75 million - $20 million from Metro, $50 million credit facility led by First Horizon, and $5 million from Vanderbilt University - with a goal to raise an additional $25 million.

"The Nashville Catalyst Fund is a public-private partnership that builds on our existing affordable housing tools, and we expect it will help preserve and create at least 3,000 affordable places to live in Nashville over the next ten years," said Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell. "The Fund will provide fast, flexible loans to help affordable housing partners preserve affordable rental homes that would otherwise be lost to the market and increase affordable housing production so more Nashvillians have dependable housing for themselves and their families for the long-term."

The loans from the fund will support affordable housing developers working to preserve and develop income-restricted housing for 30 years and beyond, as well as bringing unregulated housing into income and rent regulations, which ensures the population in need is benefiting the most.

"We know that to meet the goals of the Affordable Housing Task Force we need to create 55,000 housing units by 2030," said Metro Housing Director Angie Hubbard. "While we have made progress toward that goal, a true public-private partnership and tool like the Nashville Catalyst Fund ensures more swift execution of transactions so mission-driven developers can move quickly on projects to serve Nashvillians in need."

"Nashville needs an all hands on deck approach to solving our affordable housing shortage," said Hal Cato, Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. "The Catalyst Fund represents a new level of collaboration between philanthropy, business, and government towards a future where everyone in Nashville can have a place that they call home."

Metro's initial investment of $20 million come from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and after a competitive procurement process, Metro partnered with Forsyth Street Asset Management and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to set up the Fund's structure and find investors.

Built on national best practices, the Fund offers loan products to mission-driven developers that are not available anywhere else in the market including acquisition loans, pre-development loans, and bridge loans. These loan products are designed to include and support non-profit and emerging BIPOC developers within the affordable housing sector and aide in jumpstarting these projects without the developer waiting to receive public subsidy or grant proceeds.

"First Horizon believes investing time and resources in the communities in which we operate leads to success for all," said Carol Yochem, First Horizon Bank Region President. "We are proud to be the lead bank providing capital to the Catalyst fund. Affordable housing is imperative for the continued growth of our community and we are thrilled to be a partner in this initiative."

The Fund's day-to-day management will be handled by Forsyth Street Asset Management in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Pillars Development, and additional support from Nelson Community Partners. An Investment Committee, led by Jim Gingrich will serve as the governing body for the lending decisions of the Fund.

"High housing costs are a serious concern for many Nashville residents including our students, faculty, and staff," Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. "As a university deeply rooted and invested in our community, we are proud to help provide one more innovative option for developing affordable housing in Nashville."

The initial $75 million investment can facilitate the creation or preservation of 3,000 or more units over the next decade. Due to the sustainable nature of the fund means that this initial investment will be recycled to over $300 million in investment over the next decade. The Fund seeks an additional $25 million to support this work through ongoing fundraising.

About First Horizon

First Horizon Corp. (NYSE: FHN), with $81.8 billion in assets as of March 31, 2024, is a leading regional financial services company, dedicated to helping our clients, communities and associates unlock their full potential with capital and counsel. Headquartered in Memphis, the banking subsidiary First Horizon Bank operates in 12 states across the southern U.S. The Company and its subsidiaries offer commercial, private banking, consumer, small business, wealth and trust management, retail brokerage, capital markets, fixed income, and mortgage banking services. First Horizon has been recognized as one of the nation's best employers by Fortune and Forbes magazines and a Top 10 Most Reputable U.S. Bank. More information is available at .

About Vanderbilt University

Founded in 1873 as an institution that would "contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country," Vanderbilt University is globally renowned for its transformative education and research. The university's 10 schools reside on a parklike campus set in the heart of Nashville, providing a collaborative culture that empowers leaders of tomorrow.

Top-ranked in both academics and financial aid, Vanderbilt offers an immersive residential undergraduate experience, with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development. The university also is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate schools of law, education, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and offers robust graduate-degree programs across a range of academic disciplines. Vanderbilt's prominent alumni base includes Nobel Prize winners, members of Congress, governors, ambassadors, judges, admirals, CEOs, university presidents, physicians, attorneys, and professional sports figures.

Vanderbilt and the affiliated nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center frequently engage in interdisciplinary collaborations to drive positive change across society at large. The two entities recently reached a combined total of more than $1 billion in external research funding in a single year. This landmark achievement reflects the university's deep commitment to expanding the global impact of its innovation and research as it increases opportunities for faculty, students and staff to pursue bold new ideas and discoveries. ###

VNC notes: MDHA here. 2021 Metro Affordable Housing Report here.

Related Articles
Tags: affordable housing, Angie Hubbard, BIPOC, capital, Carol Yochem, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Daniel Diermeier, First Horizon, Forsyth Street Asset Management, Freddie OConnell, Hal Cato, housing, Jim Gingrich, lending, Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, Nelson Community Partners, Pillars Development, Vanderbilt University

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