Mercy Housing will increase its sizable portfolio by 20% as it transfers 3,666 affordable homes from Franciscan Ministries.

Jane Graf
Jane Graf

The nonprofit organization announced that it has begun the process of taking over ownership and management of 33 properties in a move that will strengthen Mercy Housing’s mission and footprint. The properties are located in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, many states in which Mercy Housing already operates.

The properties will be transferred individually, following the approval of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is expected within the next six months.

Denver-based Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing nonprofits. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1981 and sponsored by eight communities of Catholic Sisters from across the United States, the organization is dedicated to the development, preservation, management, and financing of affordable, program-enriched housing and serves tens of thousands of people with low incomes nationwide, including families, seniors, veterans, and people with special needs.

“We are deeply honored by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters’ decision to entrust us with the stewardship of their housing ministry and are committed to carrying on their legacy,” said Jane Graf, president and CEO of Mercy Housing. “Like Franciscan Ministries, Mercy Housing is dedicated to serving the communities in which we operate with the vision of our founding Sisters, and we look forward to more communities joining the Mercy Housing family.”

“The decision came after a long deliberation process,” said Sister Pat Norton, chair of the sponsor-member board for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “As the Sisters age and our numbers decrease, we wanted to transfer our corporate ministries while they are healthy, fiscally sound, and have a strong sense of mission and values. We chose Mercy Housing to assume stewardship of our housing ministry to ensure the continued health of these communities.”

The transition of Franciscan Ministries’ properties to Mercy Housing occurred in conjunction with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters’ transfer of their health-care ministries: the Iowan entities to Mercy Health Network; the Southeast Wisconsin entities to Ascension; and Marionjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Illinois to Northwestern Medicine.