August 16th-OAKLAND, CA
Merritt Community Capital closed Fund 23 this month, the largest fund in the organization’s history at $178.6 million. Fund 23 currently finances nine projects, creating 729 affordable homes across California.
Fund 23 has 13 investors, the most investors in a single Merritt fund, including six new or reengaged investors and four returning investors making their largest single investments to date.
Under Ari Beliak’s leadership, Merritt has raised over $430 million since 2019 and created over 1,800 homes for 4,500 people in California.
“At Merritt, we believe that everyone in California should have a home in a community where they can thrive, which is why we are investing in affordable housing and people to build a stronger California. Fund 23 is Merritt’s largest fund to-date, and is a testament to the organization’s strong foundation, team, and partnership with mission-aligned investors and developers. We are all working toward building a more equitable future and Fund 23 puts us closer to that goal. Merritt looks forward to continuing to grow our investments to impact affordable housing in California,” said Beliak.
Merritt takes great pride in prioritizing partnerships with mission-aligned housing developers to create and preserve affordable homes for underserved populations. Of the 729 homes funded by Fund 23, 31% are set aside for seniors, 27% for people with special needs, and 5% for farmworkers. As Merritt strives to improve the lives of low-income individuals and families, 30% of the homes financed by Fund 23 are for extremely low-income residents, households earning at or below 30% of the average median income (AMI) and another 50% of the homes are for very low-income residents, people earning 31 to 50% at of AMI. Fund 23 projects are projected to save $5.67 million in rent per year, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,339 metric tons, and reduce vehicle miles traveled per year by 2.7 million miles.
Among Merritt’s new partners is Self-Help Enterprise (SHE), the sponsor of Santa Fe Commons. It is the first phase of a two-phase affordable housing community in Tulare, in California’s Central Valley, and will include wrap-around on-site supportive services provided by SHE and Tulare County Health and Human Services. SHE secured funds from the state’s Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant program to assist with project construction and will include 35 units dedicated to families working in California’s agriculture industry. Funding also comes from the state’s No Place Like Home program, which was approved as statewide Proposition 2 in 2018 to fund permanent housing for individuals with mental illness who are homeless or at-risk. It is also a net zero project, 100% electric with solar units to offset residential electricity usage.
“Self-Help Enterprises is proud to provide an answer to the critical shortage of affordable housing opportunities for individuals and households in Tulare,” said Tom Collishaw, President and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises, “including essential workers in our agricultural industry. Santa Fe Commons will be a great neighbor and critical community asset for decades to come.”
Along with closing Merritt’s largest fund to date, this year, Merritt launched Commitment to California. An initiative over the next three years to contribute $2.5 million to attract, train, and retain the next generation of affordable housing leaders. Commitment to California will impact over 800 professionals via scholarships, internships, fellowships, career development, and innovative engagement. We made this commitment because we know that solving the affordable housing crisis requires significant investments in the next generation of affordable housing leaders, who will change the future of our state.
Merritt is actively seeking investors for Fund 24 with a fund size target of $150 million. Please contact Julie Quinn, Director of Investor Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org to invest equity capital or David Dologite, Director of Acquisitions, at email@example.com for project investment capital.
About Merritt Community Capital Corporation
Merritt Community Capital Corporation is a nonprofit dedicated to our mission to provide equity capital for affordable housing exclusively to California. We do this by partnering with mission-aligned affordable housing developers throughout the state to ensure the most critical communities are developed and maintained for low-income residents. Since 1989, Merritt has created and/or preserved 11,000 affordable homes, through investing over $1.2 billion in 26 separate funds, providing housing for over 29,700 people.