In the coming years, the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation’s (NHSC) role will be focused specifically on implementing a robust, capital-intensive housing strategy in College Hill. This work will begin with the launch of the first phase of the College Hill housing program (the “Nazareth Homes”). To facilitate the creation of this housing program, the Campaign for College Hill is launching a $2 million capital campaign to bring additional philanthropic support to this community. By raising support for new affordable housing opportunities,the Campaign for College Hill will transform College Hill into a safe, vibrant, financially stable, and healthy community.“Nazareth Homes” is one piece of a broader concept plan that includes new pocket parks, infrastructure improvements, economic development, and quality of life initiatives. Phase I of the project will consist of approximately twenty (20) homes and has launched with the construction of two display homes. To date, two of these homes have been built – with one sold and the second serving as a model home. In 2014 and early 2015, we plan to complete another seven “Nazareth Homes” (which are all being built on a pre-sale basis).
In addition to the “Nazareth Homes” initiative, the Campaign for College Hill also continues to bring many new resources to the local community. In early 2014, Wells Fargo, through its UrbanLift program, committed $150,000 to tearing down blighted buildings in the College Hill area and restoring nine lots to a buildable state. NHSC has secured $100,000 from Daughters of Charity and the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis to conduct much-needed home repair work for senior residents in College Hill. This initial funding will support at least twelve rehabs for elderly residents. An additional $160,000 has been requested from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines to support 20 more rehabs, planned for next year. The residents of College Hill have united behind a community safety initiative, led jointly by NHSC, Grace Hill Settlement House, and Riverview West Florissant CDC. Later in 2014, NHSC will work to develop, with the assistance of a community planner, a comprehensive development plan for College Hill, which will outline the next five years of economic and community development for the neighborhood.
The leading organization involved in this campaign, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, has a forty-five year history of formal housing and community development work, beginning in 1967-69 with the launch of “Keys for Christ” – a national affordable housing campaign. The LCMS has a tremendous legacy and experience in this field and brings to College Hill the collective resources its vast network of 6,000 congregations and 2.2 million members. To support the capital campaign in College Hill, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod has committed the first $100,000 as a lead, challenge grant.
For those seeking to create significant community change in St. Louis, College Hill is a natural starting place. There is a significant amount of investment in this area already (more than $1.8 million by NHSC and its partners alone). The area’s service providers are well organized and working to pursue their work together. The commitment of the LCMS to the community also puts tremendous resources on the ground to support this work. We invite you to join this tremendous collaborative effort to transform our city, neighborhood by neighborhood – starting in College Hill.
We need your help to support this critical housing development that will help to revitalize and restore the College Hill community. Please keep this initiative in your prayers and share information about its progress with your friends and networks via social media. If you would like to support families with the affordability gap noted above, please make a gift today using the “Give Now” button below. If you would like to make a gift over the phone, please call 888-930-4438.
Gifts may also be made out to the “LCMS National Housing Support Corporation” and mailed to the following address:Attn: Nazareth Homes Development LCMS National Housing Support Corporation 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd. St. Louis, MO 63122 Click here to see the partners working with residents to transform College Hill…