Over the past 50 years, SMHA has developed 1,421 new or renovated affordable homes in rural Louisiana. SMHA’s work in affordable housing has generated over $454.1 million in local income and an additional $67.5 million in state and local tax revenue.
Through our affiliate CDFI, Southern Mutual Financial Services, Inc., SMHA has invested nearly $19.4 million in affordable mortgage and business loans directly to Louisiana families, $16.5 million of which was made possible through working with private partners like IBERIABANK, reaching an additional 214 families.
While SMFS continues to make mortgage loans, SMFS is shifting to meet new needs, namely the need for affordable capital for the Gulf Coast fishing sector through the Gulf Coast Fisher Loan Fund.
SMHA’s partnership philosophy is based in what we’ve learned about businesses “doing better” when they work in cooperation with not-for-profit community development corporations. It is not about businesses helping nonprofits to charity work. It is about the synergy achieved when private and not-for-profit partners work together to achieve good for “the commons” in ways that generate positive returns for both.
Thus, SMHA seeks solutions that are both profitable and fair – allowing for sustained impact in communities and with families. SMHA works across the spectrum of partners – with bankers, real estate agents, fishers and farmers – to identify and bring to life these win-win opportunities.
One of SMHA’s principal ways of working is to leverage private sector investment and partnership to imagine, design and test new ways of working. In short, to be inventive while problem solving. In turn, new profitable models that solve problems and improve rural communities are created – and replicated and scaled out through our private sector partners.