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Insights

Winter 2024

Sheltering the Body and Spirit: The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Affordable Housing Initiatives

By Jerome (Jay) Shuman Jr.

Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County’s 2024 Winter Journal

Jay Shuman, of counsel for Nelson Mullins’ Affordable Housing Team, discussed the intersection of faith-based organizations (FBOs) and affordable housing initiatives for the Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County’s 2024 Winter Journal

In this article, Shuman describes the link between the two, stating, “True to their identities, congregations, religious organizations and social service networks, and other FBOs are considering community development as an innovative way to engage with and serve their communities. One option we are seeing more frequently are partnerships between faith-based organizations and private developers who can bring real estate, financial, legal, and strategic resources and expertise.” 

Shuman continues by discussing the upsides to working with FBOs, including strong community connections and unique incentives driving their projects. 

“FBOs may be well-positioned and incentivized to repurpose their property,” said Shuman. “Many FBOs own significant amounts of underutilized or vacant property in both expensive and distressed real estate markets that can be developed to increase access to affordability and spur revitalization. FBOs may be looking to move to where their parishioners have moved (often the suburbs). Other FBOs may be interested in repurposing their real estate assets for financial considerations because of declining attendance or rising maintenance costs.” 

Click here to read the full article.