The Housing Partnership Network created the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) to spearhead the rebuilding of housing and communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. This innovative public/private partnership grew out of the recovery efforts of Network members that assisted thousands of families after the devastating Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As these organizations shared strategies for helping families in crisis to find housing in their own communities, the Network recognized the need for a well capitalized nonprofit that could address the permanent housing and rebuilding needs of New Orleans and the broader region.
Building on the experience of the Network’s members, we partnered with government, business and philanthropic organizations to create a well-funded nonprofit that could put their resources to effective use. The Network invested $2 million of core equity from its Housing Partnership Ventures fund, helped raise matching funds from foundations and arranged a $14 million line of credit from Fannie Mae. With the ability to quickly fund predevelopment and acquisition expenses, GCHP has the financial capacity to undertake multiple development opportunities to achieve large scale impact.
Although initially managed through the Network, our shared goal was to create an independent nonprofit that could be a long term leader in the region to spur affordable housing development and community revitalization. After a successful launch, the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership was spun off from Network management in 2009 and is now a locally-operated nonprofit housing entity. The Housing Partnership Network’s CEO, Thomas Bledsoe, remains the Chair of the Board. GCHP joined the Network as a member organization in 2008.