National Equity Fund

A Letter from the CEO - 2022

May 12, 2023

June 12, 2023

2022 was an exceptional year for NEF, despite having occurred during one of the most complex and challenging macro-economic cycles that many of us have ever seen.  Elevated inflation, interest rate jumps, extended construction delays, continued longstanding economic effects of COVID and more, put pressure on investors, sponsors and the affordable housing industry like never before.

While managing these headwinds, NEF raised and deployed more than $2.1 billion in affordable housing investments, nearly matching our record production of $2.2 billion from the previous year. These results included over $1.2 billion in LIHTC investments and nearly $900 million in preservation lending and workforce housing investments to provide housing for the nation's "missing middle".

Our balanced approach to preservation lending in tandem with new builds and historic rehabs through LIHTC, continues to show our fierce determination to keeping families and individuals in safe, stable, and affordable homes for the long term. In total, NEF investments created and preserved 15,500 affordable homes in 2022.

All of this was done while we also made material investments that will transform the company over the next couple of years to increase the volume of business that we do, our profitability, and our reach to impact the industry and residents.

These investments included taking a major step to expand our ability to provide mission-driven capital to affordable housing developments through an ownership stake in the creation of CPC Mortgage Company, the only nonprofit lender with a suite of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) products to provide flexible Agency mortgage capital in communities where it is needed most. As a result, NEF is now able to extend the creation and preservation of affordable housing from the earliest days of pre-development lending through our LIHTC, debt, and equity lifecycles, even further to the addition of 30-year multi-family mortgages.

Other highlights for the year included a partnership to provide $250 million in committed lending capital to BRIDGE Housing to help accelerate the delivery of affordable and workforce housing to families and communities, and a strategic technology investment in Esusu Financial, Inc. to help bridge the racial wealth gap for residents of affordable housing.

In 2022, we were also proud to once again be named as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in both Chicago and in the nation and will continue to engage our employees to share their experiences while we hold ourselves to the highest standards.

On behalf of our entire organization, I am proud of these strong results in such a challenging year and grateful to our sponsors and investors who partnered with us to deliver such meaningful impact. Our Low-Income Housing Tax Credit portfolio was as strong as ever; we did more preservation and workforce housing deals than ever before, and we are finding new and innovative solutions and partnerships to address the affordable housing crisis head-on. Most importantly, our continued growth means more individuals and families across the country have a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home.

As we move through 2023, I also want to draw attention to the need for continued support of the low-income housing tax credit program at the federal level. The program is almost universally recognized as one of the most successful public-private partnerships in our country’s history, yet we saw the much-needed resources allocated to it not increase but actually decrease by 12.5% last year. NEF will continue to be a strong voice, using our data and real-life examples of impact to advocate for the expansion of the program.

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