NeighborWorks America’s network of local nonprofit organization invested more than $2.38 billion into the development and preservation of affordable rental housing during the last fiscal year.

Paul Weech
Paul Weech

The investment, a nearly 20% increase from 2015 levels, was made through construction, rehabilitation, refinance, and purchase of existing apartments.

NeighborWorks has a network of more than 240 community development organizations across the nation. These groups invested more than $850 million directly into the construction of new affordable rental homes during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016.

“Average asking rents nationwide last year increased by more than 3.5%, according to data from Reis, continuing the multi-year trend of the cost of rental housing growing faster than income,” said Paul Weech, president and CEO of NeighborWorks America, in a statement. “These increasingly higher rents put intense pressure on individuals and families struggling to balance their monthly budgets.”

“To alleviate this pressure on household budgets, NeighborWorks’ organizations in 2016 used a variety of financing arrangements to build and acquire more affordable rental housing and also invested in sustaining their portfolio of affordable rental homes so that many families can have more certainty in their housing costs related to their income,” Weech said.

More than 16,000 rental homes were constructed, acquired, and preserved by the network in 2016 while another 52,000 rental homes were maintained with investments in repairs.

As the year ended, more than 147,000 affordable rental homes were being offered in communities across the country.

“Nonprofit owners of apartments are committed to maintaining their properties as affordable rental housing for the long haul,” Weech said. “By continuously investing in their communities with new and preserved rental homes and making ongoing small dollar investments,NeighborWorks’ owners maintain a supply of quality affordable rental housing that are valuable community assets.”