The venture with the National Temple Non-Profit Corp. is Fannie Mae's first equity investment in low-income housing with a nonprofit developer in Pennsylvania. Fannie Mae has made investments with for-profit developers in New York and Pittsburgh, Dale said.
The newly created partnership has enabled National Temple to complete construction of 20 units of low-income housing, which are already occupied, and to begin work on 12 units in a rehabilitated building. The cost of the two projects is about $2.5 million.
The group has scheduled a "ground-breaking" ceremony for the 12-unit Waller House project at 1437 N. 15th St. on Monday. The event will be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 20-unit project at 1418 W. Master St.
The partnership with Fannie Mae is one of the first projects to use tax credits for developers of low-income housing under the tax reform act of 1986, according to Marie Nahikian, director of housing and economic development at National Temple.
Fannie Mae is a federally chartered, investor-owned corporation. It is the nation's largest investor in home mortgages.
In addition to the funding from Fannie Mae, National Temple has received
funds from a variety of other sources.
Cigna Corp. is providing a $500,000 low-interest mortgage to the 20-unit project and a $575,000 low-interest mortgage to the Waller House project. Mellon Bank has provided construction and bridge loans to the two projects. The City of Philadelphia, William Penn Foundation, Ford Foundation and National Trust for Historic Preservation also are providing financing for the projects.
"With Fannie Mae investing in North Philadelphia, our hope is that Philadelphia-based corporations will follow," Nahikian said. "It is not necessary to be in the mortgage finance business to invest in low-income housing. Any taxpaying corporation can take advantage of the federal low- income housing tax credits."
Samuel Smith, National Temple's president and founder, said, "Much has been written about the state of north-central Philadelphia. We are tired of being portrayed as the nation's model ghetto and a do-nothing, look-the-other- way neighborhood. National Temple is providing the leadership that will show other corporations how to invest in the people of North Philadelphia."
The rehabilitation of the Waller House, which is designated as a historic landmark, will provide investors with historic as well as low-income housing tax credits. The project is named for the late Rev. Bernard J. Waller, former pastor of National Temple Baptist Church, which sparked the development of the National Temple Non-Profit Corp. in 1968.
National Temple has completed more than $5 million worth of housing in the Philadelphia area in the last six years.