by Jim Wehner
It takes great courage to serve on the FCS board. Anyone familiar with real estate investment knows it can be risky, even for a non-profit with a clear mission. Eight years ago, the impact of the foreclosure crisis was tangible as we watched blocks of homes empty of residents and remain vacant. We approached our board and said we needed a better solution to housing in our neighborhood.
Our board members reached out to real estate professionals in their networks and asked them to join a blue ribbon task force to retool our housing program with an updated and competitive program. This team was made up of realtors, general contractors, real estate attorneys, architects, and real estate developers. Together, they reshaped not only our program, but our vision of how a healthy mixed-income model could revitalize a neighborhood.
Since then, FCS has completed more than 35 workforce and affordable homes. Each home represents a new neighbor and fresh life in a once vacant place. This month, FCS will put three houses on the market. Our last home, completed in March, was on the market for less than 48 hours before we had competing full price offers.
Our board members were willing to engage their personal networks on our behalf. Then those same board members - along with a number of task force members - provided seed capital for the program. This capital transformed our housing ministry and the community we serve. I am grateful that many of you have joined our mission in similar ways. You generosity is changing the neighborhood of South Atlanta one house - and one family - at a time!