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Husch Blackwell Helps New Housing Nonprofit Transform Lives

 
February 2022
 
Client Success

Case Overview

An EF3 tornado tore through Jefferson City, Missouri, in 2019, leveling more than 150 homes and exposing housing disparities in its wake. Most displaced residents were low-income renters.

A group of faith leaders resolved that through the collaboration of their parishes they could help such struggling families get back on their feet. Providing quality, affordable rentals while also building relationships of encouragement and accountability would transform their lives.

The owner of a historic home in an area near the tornado’s path offered to donate the building for such purposes. While the overture generated much excitement, the house subsequently was damaged by a fire and became uninhabitable. Mobilizing significant volunteer and financial resources would be necessary to renovate the house and set the group’s plans in motion. 

How Husch Blackwell Helped

One of the pastors contacted Jordan Ault of Husch Blackwell’s Jefferson City office for counsel. Ault, in turn, connected the group with Charlie Miller of the St. Louis office who helped the group incorporate as a nonprofit – Transformational Housing – and secure its tax-exempt status with expedited approval from the IRS.

Transformational Housing subsequently raised $400,000 for the project, and over two years, nearly 100 volunteers worked together to completely gut and renovate the home. The structure now includes five rental units ranging from one to three bedrooms, all with a common space, kitchen, and at least one full bath.

Four of the units will rent for below-market rates. These residents will be provided coaches to help them achieve personal, financial and spiritual goals while developing skills necessary to overcome poverty and sustain a self-supporting lifestyle. The family in the market-rate apartment will not receive coaching, but will join in monthly building-wide meals to foster relationship development.

The first tenants will move into their new home in March 2022. Meanwhile, Transformational Housing is now poised to take on additional projects.

Professionals:

Charles W. Miller

Associate

Jordan T. Ault

Partner
 

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