Mountain Housing Opportunities receives $2.5M EQ2 social impact investment from First Citizens Bank

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Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) is pleased to announce a transformational capital investment from First Citizens Bank for $2.5 million, provided in the form of an Equity Equivalent Investment (EQ2). This catalytic investment provides flexible capital that MHO can deploy to finance its active development pipeline and to acquire and secure land for new affordable rental and homeownership developments.

“First Citizens Bank is delivering on their commitment to empower low-income and marginalized communities through lending, investment, and philanthropy,” said Geoffrey Barton, President and CEO of Mountain Housing Opportunities. “This investment demonstrates the type of strong collaboration our region needs to scale our ability to address our housing affordability crisis. We hope that investments like this signal to other potential funders that MHO is an organization of choice for social benefit investments and we intend to leverage this EQ2 for exponential impact.”

“The important contributions to Mountain Housing Opportunities provide quality, affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families in need,’’ said Greg Burnette, Area Executive of Western North Carolina at First Citizens Bank. “First Citizens is proud to support the influential efforts of MHO and commit to the improvement of the communities and neighborhoods we both serve.” 

The need for affordable housing in western North Carolina has never been greater, and the costs to build housing continue to rise. MHO, like all non-profit affordable housing developers, relies on a wide variety of financing tools and partnerships across the public and private sectors to build and maintain housing that serves low- to-moderate income individuals and families. In addition to this recent EQ2 investment, First Citizens Bank has provided financing commitments for several affordable housing developments, including a 120-unit affordable rental development in Arden, a 60-unit affordable rental development in East Asheville, and the construction loan for MHO’s recently completed 46-home neighborhood in Weaverville.

MHO’s EQ2 investment is a part of First Citizen’s 5-year $16 billion Community Benefits Plan to reinvest in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and neighborhoods of color. Launched in 2020, the plan commits $6.9B in Community Development Lending and investments, $3.2B in mortgage lending, $5.9B in small business lending, and $50M in Community Reinvestment Act-qualified philanthropic giving through 2025. MHO gratefully acknowledges Mike Atkinson, Carla Trull, Nicola Barksdale, Greg Burnette, Deborah Koski, and Katie Fisher of the First Citizens Bank and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a division of First Citizens Bank teams, for their partnership and expertise in executing this latest investment in MHO.