Columbus Foundation Provides $3.3 Million Refinance

Below Market Terms Could Shift More Funds To RESIDENT SERVICES

For the first time in the organization’s history, Homeport – and its residents – will be the beneficiary of a below market interest loan from The Columbus Foundation. The $3.3 million mortgage refinance could produce more than $750,000 in savings over the next decade.

"We are truly honored to be the recipient of our first Program Related Investment (PRI) from the Columbus Foundation," said Amy Klaben, President/CEO of Homeport.  "The Foundation's confidence in Homeport and its mission will lower annual debt payments, freeing cash for programs and services for our families.”

Lisa Courtice, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management, said the PRI loan has been a tool in its arsenal of support mechanisms since 2003.

“We are able to provide loans at below market interest rates,” Courtice said. “We look to support organizations serving a great need and we look at the board and leadership to make sure it’s strong and . . . can pay us back. But bottom line, it is about helping the most people.

“Our PRI Advisory Committee was really attracted to what Homeport does, the support services it provides, stabilizing people living in poverty, helping them reach new levels of self-sufficiency. We need more programs like the ones you offer in our community,” Courtice added.

The special loans have ranged from $200,000 to $3.4 million – making Homeport’s one of the largest. Homeport will use the Foundation loan to refinance an existing mortgage of 6.5 percent currently held on its Marsh Run apartments properties. The new rate would be 3 percent.

Homeport has over 5700 residents in more than 2200 homes in 32 communities. Almost half the residents are 18 years old and under living in single parent households with annual incomes ranging from $8,500 to $20,000.

The potential step up in services from the savings could be resident service coordination.

Homeport’s two resident service coordinators work with approximately 50 residents a month on a broad array of needs including eviction prevention, education, employment, furniture assistance, health and food.

“We could take services to another level, to address the real root of a family’s challenges, which is often economic instability,” said Alex Romstedt, Assistant Director of Homeport’s Department of Learning & Engagement.  

“A new Coaching program we have developed seeks to help our residents set and achieve long-term goals, such as educational achievement and career advancement. This refinance through The Columbus Foundation puts us one step closer to doing just that,” Romstedt said. 

One such effort occurred in October when Homeport staff educated Homeport high school children from Elim Estates, Pheasant Run and Renaissance Village on college scholarship opportunities. The picture above is from the "Teen Scholarship Night" program at Homeport's office on Agler Road.