Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour Joins Enterprise Community Partners, American Express Center for Community Development and Bay Waveland Housing Authority to Celebrate Grand Opening of Oak Haven Senior Apartments

Hurricane-resistant property features latest in weatherization and green technology

WAVELAND, MS – January 31, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — More than five years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of Hancock County’s public housing, seniors in Waveland now have an affordable place to call home thanks to Oak Haven Apartments, which features 80 affordable, cottage-style apartment homes. Gov. Haley Barbour today joined the Bay Waveland Housing Authority, Centerpointe Regional Housing Development, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), American Express Center for Community Development, and other local housing partners for a grand opening celebration with senior residents.

“Oak Haven is a wonderful example of what people, whether they be from government, the private sector or the not for profit community, can do when they work together,” said Gov. Haley Barbour. “I’m thankful to Enterprise for their continued commitment to the Gulf Coast’s recovery and to American Express for their generous investment in Oak Haven’s future.”

As part of Enterprise’s commitment to invest $200 million with partners to rebuild stronger, healthier communities along the Gulf Coast damaged by the devastating storms of 2005, Oak Haven is hurricane resistant and features the latest in weatherization technology. This includes concrete filled insulated form wall systems built to withstand up to 130 mile per hour winds.

Oak Haven is affordable to seniors aged 52 and older earning up to 50 percent of area median income, and offers a community center, full amenities, and an array of on-site services. Comprised of 80 oneand two-bedroom apartments, the single-story duplex homes ranging in size from 583 to 836 square feet are located within walking distance of schools, stores and community resources.

“Being a good citizen is a core value at American Express and is reflected in our community development programs and services,” said Jane Shock, VP at American Express. “We’re especially proud of our investment in this project and helping to restore affordable housing impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Affordable housing is at the heart of our Center for Community Development.”

Bay Waveland Housing Authority and Centerpointe Regional Housing served as developers of the $15.8 million Oak Haven development, of which the American Express Center for Community Development provided a $7.3 million investment. The project received an award of Gulf Opportunity Zone Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Mississippi Home Corporation, which were purchased by American Express through Enterprise. The Mississippi Development Authority provided $8.5 million in Community Development Block Grant hurricane relief funds.

“Enterprise is thrilled to be a part of the financing team for Oak Haven, our first of what we hope will be many LIHTC investments in Mississippi and one of many green affordable developments created as part of our commitment to rebuilding the Gulf,” said Terri Ludwig, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “With more than 4,000 affordable homes already completed or under development across the region, Enterprise continues to work toward the day when all Gulf residents have an affordable place to call home.”

Oak Haven Apartments have patios, washers and dryers, and ceiling fans in living rooms and bedrooms. Full kitchens feature Energy Star appliances, including microwaves, disposals and dishwashers. In addition, residents have access to a large community room with a kitchenette for meetings and events, a computer room and picnic area.

Services include free transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores, financial literacy training and support services, Meals on Wheels, health screenings and a resident council.

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About Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For nearly 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $10.6 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 270,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Enterprise is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise’s efforts to build communities and opportunity.

About American Express Center for Community Development
The American Express Center for Community Development (CCD) was established to address the economic challenges that face low-and moderate income (LMI) communities. In this regard, the CCD works in partnership with government agencies, non-profit organizations, tribal entities and community organizations to help provide housing, economic development, and community revitalization through lending, investments, educational training and technical assistance

Contact:
Jon Searles
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
202.649.3916
jsearles (at) enterprisecommunity (dot) org

Mona Hamouly
American Express
212.640.0512
mona.l.hamouly (at) aexp (dot) com

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