NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 12, 2021 – Regions Bank and Urban Housing Solutions (UHS) on Wednesday announced a transformational collaboration designed to help up to 165 low- or moderate-income families continue calling Nashville home.
The collaboration is resulting in a new, $19.2 million loan agreement to enable UHS to purchase Parliament Place and Southwood Park, two neighboring apartment complexes near Briley Parkway, just south of Interstate 40. The landmark deal brought together four Nashville-area nonprofit foundations – the Memorial Foundation, the Healing Trust, the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, and the Kharis Foundation – which offered portions of their endowments as collateral for the loan. UHS, in turn, will be able to keep rents at Parliament Place and Southwood Park affordable.
“As the cost of acquiring older and ‘naturally affordable’ complexes in Nashville has dramatically increased in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for mission-based organizations like UHS to help preserve the city’s existing housing stock for families in need of affordable options,” said Brent Elrod, managing director for Urban Housing Solutions. “We often rely on grants as critical equity layers for these acquisitions, but we have lacked access to the types of ‘quick capital’ that could enable us to make more competitive offers on existing properties. We appreciate how the teams at Regions and our fellow community partners came together to develop a real solution.”
In recent years, more people across the country have discovered what we’ve known all along – that Nashville is a great place to live, work and raise a family.Lee Blank, market executive for Regions Bank in Nashville
In 2019, UHS founder and then-executive director Rusty Lawrence pitched the idea of a loan guarantee to several local foundations as a mechanism to preserve affordable housing in Nashville. The Memorial Foundation, the Healing Trust, the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, and the Kharis Foundation all expressed interest. Regions Bank worked with UHS and the foundations to develop an operating agreement and guaranty structure to turn the concept into completion. The result: preserving affordable living spaces in a city where the cost of housing has increased considerably in recent years.
“This is about the power of teamwork and collaboration,” said Lee Blank, market executive for Regions Bank in Nashville. “In recent years, more people across the country have discovered what we’ve known all along – that Nashville is a great place to live, work and raise a family. One of the results, however, is that housing costs have increased dramatically. As a financial institution, we have the resources, ideas and solutions that can help address the need for more affordable housing. When UHS came to us with the guarantee idea, our bankers immediately went to work and developed a customized solution to make this idea a reality.”
After a year of working to define the details of the collaboration, UHS and the four foundations had a working agreement for a loan guaranty program to be used for a future property acquisition. In late 2020, Parliament Place and Southwood Park Apartments were listed for sale. Located within six miles of downtown Nashville and along a bus route, UHS saw the potential to preserve a critical housing opportunity.
At Regions, there is one key goal that drives our commitment to serving our communities, and that goal is more inclusive prosperity.
Latrisha Jemison, regional community development manager, Regions Bank
“One of the prominent drivers of Nashville’s affordable housing crisis has been the acquisitions of older apartment complexes, which tend to have more attainable rents for lower-income earners,” Elrod explained. “Many of these communities have been purchased above market value – often by out-of-state investment firms – and then renovated and rented at rates beyond what former tenants can pay.”
While working with Regions’ Commercial Banking team, and with the guaranty program in place, UHS closed on the acquisition of Parliament Place and Southwood Park by April 2021. UHS is now in the process of developing a strategy to preserve the affordability of the units for the next 30 years.
“At Regions, there is one key goal that drives our commitment to serving our communities, and that goal is more inclusive prosperity,” said Latrisha Jemison, regional community development manager for Regions Bank. “This collaboration shows our commitment in action. Our teams are focused on using our experience as financial professionals – and our passion for serving Middle Tennessee – to create solutions that have measurable, long-term impacts. By preserving affordable housing through this innovative deal, we are honored to play a part in giving so many Nashville families greater opportunities to achieve inclusive prosperity.”
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About Urban Housing Solutions
Urban Housing Solutions (UHS) is Nashville’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing. Founded in 1991, UHS now provides more than 1,500 affordable apartments in Davidson County. UHS also provides social service coordination for residents who have overcome homelessness or have other medical or social needs.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $153 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.