Morgan Stanley, National Equity Fund help communities hit by Sandy
Morgan Stanley and National Equity Fund Inc (NEF) are expanding their joint Rebuilding Local Economies Fund with $75 million to support replacement housing in communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The fund, launched in 2011, finances affordable housing for low-income residents in FEMA-declared disaster areas. It is designed to help jump-start economic activity with new jobs and development activity, in addition to ensuring that families have safe, quality, affordable housing.
The now $200 million fund has already committed $108 million to development projects across parts of the Midwest and South that were battered by tornadoes and floods over the last 18 months. The new $75 million commitment will focus exclusively on parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and other areas impacted by Sandy’s destruction. When all $200 million is invested, the fund will have supported the development of approximately 1,500 units of affordable housing and the creation of thousands of construction and permanent jobs.
Morgan Stanley is committed to supporting local communities when disaster demands an immediate response, said Audrey Choi, Managing Director and Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. The Rebuilding Local Economies Fund aims to kick-start and accelerate affordable housing opportunities and job creation in these communities. So many people have lost so much to this catastrophe, noted Joe Hagan, NEF president and CEO.
The fund is managed by NEF and connects Morgan Stanley capital to projects that have been allocated federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). NEF has also set up a $4 million pool of predevelopment capital to help developers expedite the early work needed to launch these projects. LIHTC developments must be affordable to families, seniors and special needs residents earning 60 percent or less of their area’s median income. Developers earn the housing credits through a state-based competitive process and then sell them to institutional investors to fund their projects.