FCLF Board Member Speaks Out About Affordable Housing

12 November 2012

FCLF Board Member Shannon Nazworth, Executive Director of Ability Housing of Northeast Florida, recently spoke out about the importance of affordable housing for those who are at risk of becoming homeless. Below is an excerpt from an article published in the Jacksonville Daily Record on November 9, 2012. You can read the entire article here. To learn more about Ability Housing, visit their website, www.abilityhousing.com.


Ability Housing of Northeast Florida: Opening doors to independence

ability-housing-logoThe solution to homelessness is to place homeless people in homes. That's the obvious answer, but the obstacle is money.

Removing that financial roadblock is the mission of Ability Housing of Northeast Florida Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops affordable housing for adults with disabilities and people moving from homeless shelters or transitional housing.

Ability Housing evolved out of Grove House of Jacksonville, which was founded in 1986 to operate a group home for six adults with developmental disabilities. That led to expanding the scope to providing community-based services to disabled people who lived in their own homes.

"We use much of the same model as a for-profit real estate developer and property manager. We're a business," said Shannon Nazworth, Ability Housing executive director.

She said homeless shelters provide intervention to move an individual or family off the street. Ability Housing can provide a permanent solution to homelessness by making available affordable housing that serves the community's most vulnerable members – those who have income, but can't afford market-rate housing.

The area median income in North Florida is $23,600 for an individual and $33,650 for a family of four. Making less than 50 percent can qualify a person or family to live at an Ability Housing property.

Nazworth said the average annual income of residents living at the properties is $8,800.

"To the typical person, that's a mind-boggling number. If there are children involved, it's outrageous," said attorney John Osgathorpe, shareholder at Taylor Day and chairman of Ability Housing's board of directors.

"Homelessness is not about housing, it's about affordability," Nazworth said.


grove-house-srmary-and-residents-300x200Pictured at right: Grove House residents with FCLF Founding Board Member Sister Mary Heyser.

“The collaboration with FCLF and using NMTC financing allows us to bring the most ambitious projects to life to benefit the communities we serve.” – Elodie Dorso, President & CEO

Community Health Centers of Pinellas

"We commend the important work of your organization, are glad to support its efforts." – Beverly Dabney

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

“The partnership with FCLF is very exciting for us – an essential component in providing greater access to fresh healthy food in downtown New Port Richey.” – Jeff Wright, Owner

Wright's Natural Market

“We are proud to partner with FCLF on this project, which expands access to innovative, quality, comprehensive primary healthcare in our communities.” – Annie Neasman, President & CEO

Jessie Trice Community Health

“FCLF provides stability for families, strengthens the region, and helps Truist fulfill our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities." – Sandy Hostetter, Central Florida Region P

Truist

"Thank you to our friends at FCLF. Your staff has been patient and helpful. We'll make you proud!" – Bill Lazar, Executive Director

St. Johns Housing Partnership

"Without the FCLF initial loan to purchase land, we might not have been able to move forward with farmworker housing." – Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice

Casa San Juan Bosco

"Our relationship with FCLF provides the capital to achieve long-lasting impact." – Terri Murray, Exec Dir

Neighborhood Renaissance

"Trinity Health is happy to partner with FCLF. We look forward to seeing the impact in the communities you serve." – Sr. Kathleen Coll, SSJ, Administrator, Shareholder Advocacy

Trinity Health

“Thank you so very much for the exceptional services. We truly value FCLF’s contributions to furthering our mission." – Michael L. Bean, CEO

Housing Authority of Brevard County

“FCLF will help us have significant ongoing impact in West Lakes as we help families set roots in this community.” – Camille Reynolds, Executive Director

Hannibal Square CLT

"We consider FCLF a valued partner and strong advocates for low-income communities and families. We look forward to many more years of working together." – Jennifer Westerbeck, Vice President

US Bancorp CDC

"FCLF has proven its community impact and hard work. We are proud to partner with FCLF." – Leslie Watson, Analyst, Community Investments

Dignity Health

"FCLF staff shares our vision and commitment to serve needy families and provide a high quality education to all children." – Thomas Cole, Founder

Emma Jewel Charter Academy

"We appreciate the accomplishments your organization attains." - Robert Sucher, Executive VP

Sabadell United Bank

“We cannot thank FCLF enough for this partnership, creating permanent housing for our neighbors in need, and their commitment to Florida communities.” – Shannon Nazworth, President & CEO

Ability Housing

"FCLF understands and is a part of what we are doing: helping families have the American dream of owning a home." – Isaac Simhon, Executive Director

Housing Programs, Inc.

"FCLF has a keen knowledge of Florida challenges & opportunities. We are confident our investment will be used to improve lives." – Kathleen Rizzo Young, Sr. VP, Community Development

HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

"It is really working. FCLF is really touching low-income people." – Florida Community Loan Fund Founding Board Member

Sister Mary Heyser, RSHM

"We appreciate how the work of FCLF primarily benefits low- to moderate-income individuals and areas and supports the needs of our community." – Maria J. Thompson, Community Development Manager

Third Federal Savings

Our Partners

FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education  for the whole child in Brevard County.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
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Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.