CHICAGO—National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF),has acquired Homestead Capital, a regional low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) syndicator based in Portland, Ore.

NEF will integrate Homestead into its existing operation, maintaining a Portland presence as part of its Northwest acquisitions and asset management strategy, according to Joe Hagan, NEF president and CEO.

“This further expands NEF’s footprint by continuing Homestead Capital’s mission as an affordable housing provider in the region and gives us the chance to work with developers and investors that weren’t previously among our partners,” Hagan said in a statement.

Headquartered in Chicago, NEF is a nonprofit LIHTC syndicator that has invested $7.5 billion in nearly 1,800 affordable housing developments in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It is a Local Initiatives Support Corp. affiliate.

The transaction was fueled, in part, by the economy. “The market downturn made it increasingly difficult to raise equity and to make deals work,” said Tobias Washington, president of Homestead, which has invested about $483 million in affordable housing across nine states. “We wanted to protect our investors and our assets—these are terrific projects that are adding significant value to their communities.”

Homestead, which is also a nonprofit, sought NEF for a merger.

Washington will leave the organization after assisting in the transition.