In Memoriam: John Pritscher

John Pritscher, president and CEO of Community Investment Corp. (CIC) in Chicago, died Oct. 13, 2007.

As a Catholic priest in the 1960s, he fought for civil rights. Working in the inner city, he realized that having a decent home in a safe neighborhood was crucial to the ability of inner-city residents to improve their lives. As a result, he became focused on rehabilitating Chicago’s older rental buildings.

As head of CIC, a consortium of banks that makes loans for apartments in a six-county area, he spent much of his career showing that small-scale, market-oriented rehab could bring neglected neighborhoods back to life.

In 23 years, CIC borrowers received $915 million in financing. More than $800 million in CIC loans were for the rehab of 1,500 buildings with 40,000 units and a total project cost of $1.4 billion. In 2006, 92 percent of CIC-financed buildings had after-rehab rents affordable to persons earning below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), and 100 percent were affordable to persons earning up to 60 percent of the AMI.

Pritscher was inducted into AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine’s Affordable Housing Hall of Fame in 2007. John Markowski, former commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing, has been named the new CIC president and CEO.

NeighborWorks Forms Financing Group

NeighborWorks America has named James Ferris executive director of NeighborWorks Capital, a new real estate development financing arm of the corporation.

NeighborWorks Capital is the company formed by the recent merger of Neighborhood Capital Corp. and RNA Community Builders.

The new group will provide loans to enable NeighborWorks organizations to do affordable rental housing, homeownership housing, and commercial projects.

The lending will consist primarily of short-term loans for predevelopment costs, site and property acquisition, construction or rehab, and interim financing during operations.

Ferris was previously a senior director at the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Pacific Housing Advisors Opens S.F. Office

Stephanie McFadden has joined Pacific Housing Advisors as a director. She will open a San Francisco office for the firm, which provides consulting and development services to affordable housing developers and sponsors throughout the nation.

McFadden previously served as vice president for ARCS Commercial Mortgage Co., L.P., in San Francisco, where she originated permanent loans primarily through Fannie Mae’s multifamily loan programs.

CalHFA Names Multifamily Director

Robert L. Deaner has been appointed director of multifamily programs at the California Housing Finance Agency.

He has more than 20 years of experience in multifamily affordable housing, banking, management, and commercial real estate.

He recently served as vice president and relationship manager at U.S. Bank in Sacramento, Calif.

Arizona Names Housing Chief

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has named Fred Karnas Jr. as director of the state Department of Housing.

Karnas was recently the administrator of the Center for Housing Affordability and Livable Communities for the department. He has also worked on the city of Phoenix’s task force on homelessness and was the executive director of the nonprofit Community Housing Partnership.

He replaces Sheila Harris, who left the department to revive her consulting business and to pursue development opportunities in the private sector.

Guardian Adds Development Post

Guardian Management, LLC, a Portland, Ore.-based real estate investment and management firm, has hired Susan E. Marcus to be development projects manager.

Her role will be to manage existing and develop new mixed-use properties that have an affordable housing component.

Marcus was vice president of administration for the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and taught in the sustainable business program.

CSH Opens D.C. Office

The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) has named Kimberly Black as the director of its new Washington, D.C., field office.

Black will be responsible for helping the District of Columbia and its citizens mobilize the resources and expertise necessary to develop supportive housing throughout the area.

Prior to joining CSH, Black was a senior account executive at Fannie Mae, responsible for the management of special affordable multifamily housing lenders and multifamily rural initiatives.