Tag Archives: metcalfe-park-homes-owner-initiative

Rebuilding a Dream: America’s new urban crisis, the housing cost explosion, and how we can reinvent the American dream for all

Excerpt from the book by Andre F. Shashaty

In America’s Rust Belt, many communities were hit hard by the foreclosure crises, compounding a long struggle with economic woes. On Milwaukee’s north side, a local real estate developer used the housing tax credit to help address the scars left by foreclosures there.

Gorman & Co., Inc., took a bite out of two prevailing problems in its Milwaukee neighborhood—foreclosures and unemployment. Focusing within a two-mile area, Gorman purchased vacant lots from the city to build 40 single-family homes for rent to lower-income families. This infill development helped restore the vitality and stability of the area.

But the firm did not stop there. It also substantially rehabilitated a series of duplexes that were in dilapidated condition to provide another 40 affordable units and preserve the neighborhood’s character.

“It has stabilized the neighborhood,” said Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president for the firm. “It has eliminated blight. When you drive down the street it looks like a new subdivision.”

Known as the Northside Housing Initiative, the project also helped address unemployment, which stood at 50 percent for African-Americans. Gorman partnered with the Northcott Neighborhood House to train youths and adults with troubled backgrounds to work in construction. More than 50 full-time jobs were created for graduates of the program during construction, giving them valuable experience on top of their training.

Resident of the single-family homes will have an opportunity to buy their houses at the end of the federally mandated 15 –year rental period.

The new homes are part of a forward-looking decision by the city at the height of the foreclosure crises. City leaders recognized that homes could be acquired inexpensively, giving the city the ability to take control of not just individual homes but entire blocks and neighborhoods. This control would be essential to helping stabilize areas with high rates of foreclosure.

The $16.4 million Northside Housing Initiative is made up of two low-income housing tax credit projects that target families earning no more than 50 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

It is a prime example of how private developers and corporations looking to reduce their tax liability are working with cities to address local housing and community revitalization goals.

The AHF 50: Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers, #29 Gorman & Company, Inc.

By Christine Serlin, Affordable Housing Finance, April/May 2014

#29, Gorman & Company, Inc.

Gorman and Co., based in Oregon, Wis., isn’t just a housing developer.  The company considers itself a community developer, too, building in revitalizing areas in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and its home state.  One of Gorman’s major accomplishments for 2013 was finding new sources of financing for that work.

“We have to be prepared if there are real jolts to traditional funding, like low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) or historic tax credits,” says COO Tom Capp.  “That’s a bit of the motivation why we’re looking at new sources.”

The firm has had recent success with the government’s EB-5 program, which offers foreign citizens a Green Card if they’ll invest $1 million in an American project that creates or preserves jobs primarily in community development areas.

Gorman is redeveloping the Pabst Brewery site in Milwaukee with three projects.  The first was Blue Ribbon Lofts, 100 affordable units financed with LIHTCs and historic tax credits.  The second was a historic hotel and restaurant, where the company utilized the EB-5 investments.  The third will be market-rate workforce housing with equity from a Chinese developer.

“These financial sources are fueling projects like workforce housing and elements communities want to see us executing in the revitalizing areas,” says Capp.  “These sources are touching housing, but not intermingling with the LIHTC.”

The firm has also received approval from HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program for a 300-unit public housing development in Phoenix.

Gorman & Company, Inc. Named in the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers of 2013

April 10, 2014

Affordable Housing Finance named Gorman & Company, Inc. in the top 50 affordable housing developers for 2013.