June 26, 2009
The long-awaited Mt. Hope Community Center in the Mt. Hope section of the Bronx celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 25. The learning and recreational facility for youth and adults, constructed on vacant lots, turned an eyesore into a community oasis that’s a model of sustainable design. Green building principles guided the facility’s design including green roofs and an air purification system to help combat the neighborhood’s chronically high asthma rates.
The project is the latest in a series of accomplishments made by the Mt. Hope Housing Company, Inc (MHHC). Established in 1986 by community residents to tackle neighborhood issues like homelessness and unemployment, this dynamic non-profit has since invested over $100 million in everything from affordable housing to infrastructure to workforce development programs. Through NDC’s Development Assistance, MHHC seized the opportunity to bring this project to life through creative use of financing programs and its own assets. NDC structured a complex financing package including New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) making MHHC one of the few non-profits to leverage NMTC equity for a community center.
“It has been a great a profound privilege to work with the Mt. Hope community to bring this extraordinary center to life. The equity we provided through NMTCs and our Development Assistance with the complex financial structure helped overcome the financing challenges, and we hope the result will serve the children and youth of the Mt. Hope community for many generations,” says NDC Director Kevin Gremse.