Numerica CU Guarantee Key To Low-Income Housing

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Numerica Credit Union has played a pivotal role in the creation of a low- income housing project here by guaranteeing future financing for a local non- profit organization. And, it is helping the credit union's bottom line.

According to Gene Fitzpatrick, vice president of lending for Numerica, the CU is not the lead lender-which he described as a local financial institution that wishes to remain anonymous-but said it played a key role in brokering the deal.

The other participants include the City of Spokane, the state of Washington, the Federal Home Loan Bank and a non-profit organization called Spokane Housing Ventures.

"It is a complicated transaction, and it was quite a process to get all the parties together," said Fitzpatrick.

Recently, Spokane Housing Ventures, which operates a number of low-income housing projects here, was given the opportunity to purchase a 123-unit apartment building. The competition was two large, nationwide banks, and uncertainty about its financing was the enemy.

"Spokane Housing Ventures needed to nail down all of its costs before it could make a bid, and it couldn't gamble on interest rates on a two-year project," explained Fitzpatrick. "Numerica worked with the Federal Home Loan Bank in Seattle-of which we are a member-to work out a low rate over two years. We saved the project over $100,000."

Numerica paid $6,000 to lock in a low interest rate during the rehabilitation period. In return, it will begin servicing a $1.4 million loan with becomes effective in September 2004.

With its future financing secured, Spokane Housing Ventures was able to purchase the property, and is in the process of rehabilitating the units. The anonymous lead lender supplied the funding for rehabilitation costs.

"We saw this as an opportunity to do something very positive for the community, and that is make low-income housing available," said Fitzpatrick. "And unfortunately, there always is a need for low-income housing."

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