Michelle Norris, senior vice president of business development and public policy for Columbus, Ohio-based National Church Residences (NCR), has been named president of the nonprofit’s newly activated development subsidiary.
Norris, who has been with NCR since 1993, will lead the National Church Residences Development Corp. as well as continue to serve as senior vice president for the entire nonprofit.
In addition to creating the subsidiary, the NCR board of directors established the Affordable Housing Investment Fund in December. Norris will administer the fund, which will allow NCR to respond quickly to opportunities to acquire and preserve affordable housing properties.
“This is a new business strategy that will allow us to become a national leader in the transformational preservation of affordable housing,” said Thomas Slemmer, NCR’s president and CEO. “Michelle Norris will do a wonderful job leading the effort.”
NCR is actively seeking investors to contribute to the fund, which will be blended with sources that include NCR, financial institutions such as banks and Community Development Financial Institutions, and philanthropic contributions. NCR has projected that the fund will contain $25 million this year with an additional $25 million raised in 2015.
The fund was first used in December to acquire Antioch Towers, a 177-unit building serving seniors and people with disabilities, in Cleveland. Two additional projects in Atlanta are expected to be purchased with the fund within the next six months.
“Government funds for creating new affordable housing are basically depleted, so we must ensure that we maintain and update as much existing affordable housing as possible,” Norris said.
In her new role, Norris also will implement the NCR strategic growth plan, develop new opportunities for innovation, and lead the initiatives to obtain funding for supportive housing from health funders.