Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership Board Announces New President

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Board of Directors of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (The Housing Partnership) is pleased to announce that Julie Porter has been selected to succeed retiring president, Patricia “Pat” Garrett, who served as the leader of the organization for 24 years. Porter, who previously served as the Executive Director of Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), begins her new role effective April 22, 2013.

Charlotte-based firm, Sockwell Partners, was engaged by The Housing Partnership’s Board of Directors to lead a national search which included personal conversations with more than 350 candidates from across the country.  Three finalists met with a board-level selection committee. On March 18, Porter was officially chosen by the Board of Directors to lead the organization going forward.

“The depth of Julie’s career experiences is unique and includes significant expertise in real estate banking, and in community and affordable housing development,” said Eileen Stenerson, Board Chair for The Housing Partnership. “Her skills will be pivotal in leading The Housing Partnership to an even greater level of accomplishment.”

Since its inception, The Housing Partnership has led the revitalization of inner-city neighborhoods such as Greenville, Genesis Park, Druid Hills, Seversville, Park at Oaklawn (formerly Fairview Homes) and Double Oaks. The organization has provided financial self-sufficiency education for more than 18,000 families and assisted nearly 1,800 individuals in becoming homeowners. It has financed the preservation and development of more than 2,200 affordable housing units and participated in projects involving public and private investments of more than $350 million.

As Porter assumes her role as president, she will lead the organization into its next generation of affordable housing development in Charlotte. The Housing Partnership, incorporated on July 5, 1988, celebrates its 25thanniversary this year. With a mission to expand affordable and well-maintained housing and to promote stable neighborhoods for low and moderate income families, Porter’s presidency is certain to extend the legacy of retiring president, Pat Garrett.

“I am incredibly honored to be chosen as the new president of The Housing Partnership. Pat Garrett has been a strong advocate for affordable housing in Mecklenburg County and it will be a challenge to fill her shoes,” said Porter.  “The Housing Partnership enjoys an experienced and knowledgeable staff, a committed Board of Directors and numerous community partners who will assist in keeping the organization at the top of its game.  I look forward to working with them to lead the organization through the transition and on to new projects and programs.”

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Julie Porter

Born and raised in the Midwest, Julie Porter has spent her professional career in the Greater Kansas City area. Porter is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in Business Administration.  She joined Mercantile Bank in 1994 and served first as an Assistant Vice President of Operations and Real Estate and then as Vice President of  Construction Lending.   Porter worked for more than 17 years in banking with a career that included real estate operations management, small business lending and finally, serving as vice president of construction/real estate lending.  It was in this capacity that she began working with community development corporations, lending funds for new and rehab construction projects in the urban core.

In 2000, Porter left banking to concentrate on community development and joined Greater Kansas City LISC as Senior Program Officer, responsible for administration, lending and finance. In this role, she underwrote and closed $8.9 million in loans for a wide variety of community development projects benefiting the Kansas City urban core, secured $1.5 million in state tax credits and $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Porter was promoted to Executive Director in July 2004 and in November 2005 launched NeighborhoodsNOW, a comprehensive revitalization program.  NeighborhoodsNOW rebuilds targeted urban core neighborhoods physically, economically and socially.  Significantly, NeighborhoodsNOW engages residents, predominantly low-income populations, to create and implement redevelopment plans to meet their economic, safety, housing and educational needs.  By partnering with and concentrating funding from government, philanthropic and corporate entities, NeighborhoodsNOW helps transform neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable communities.

Porter oversaw the underwriting of an additional $7.9 million in loans for community development projects including financing for operating lines of credit, commercial real estate development, and housing construction.  She also ensured compliance with HUD regulations for Section IV grants to non-profit agencies and with Section III requirements for construction under several grants that have been either directly appropriated to Kansas City or have been passed from the National LISC office.  In addition to compliance with HUD regulations, Porter oversaw compliance with state tax credits allocations in Missouri, with federal Department of Justice funding, and with awards of local CDBG and HOME funds.

During her tenure as Executive Director, Porter garnered private local donations of $7.4 million, local government awards of $651,750 and was awarded more than $2.3 million in direct federal appropriations for the NeighborhoodsNOW program.