Acquiring, refinancing and upgrading facilities to make affordable, low-income housing a reality
One of the ways Mercy Housing is addressing the critical gap in the supply of affordable housing is through affordable housing preservation. Thousands of multifamily rental properties are at risk of being lost from the pool of available affordable housing because of expiring public funding. By acquiring, refinancing and upgrading facilities, Mercy Housing can supply more affordable housing opportunities for the long term without much new construction.
We are also playing a significant role in implementing foreclosure abatement plans using federal stimulus dollars. Through unique public and private partnerships, we build and preserve low-income apartment buildings and acquire and reoccupy thousands of foreclosed homes. We also recently launched a first-of-its-kind social enterprise to board up and maintain vacant homes, thus employing hundreds of individuals.
In a focused effort to enhance Mercy Housing's sustainability through the stewardship of human, financial and environmental resources, we're engaging our development, construction, property management, asset management and design teams to implement an Environmental Stewardship Initiative. The Environmental Stewardship Initiative includes a utility baseline project to gather benchmarking data for utility usage; energy audits; use of federal weatherization and green retrofit funding; and sustainable development standards for all new construction.
Sustainable development provides tremendous benefits to residents through reduced energy costs and healthier indoor environments. In 2010, Mercy Housing completed energy audits at all of our properties and implemented appropriate upgrades and retrofits to save on building energy costs. We have also established a relationship with Whirlpool© to ensure that all new construction includes the installation of ENERGY STAR-certified dishwashers and refrigerators.