An Interview with Mercy Housing Southeast’s President, James Alexander
We sat down with our long-time partner, Mercy Housing Southeast, to talk about their first project that includes permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness – Thrive Sweet Auburn. What follows is a conversation about our partnership and that project.
Tells us a little bit about Mercy Housing’s mission.
Mercy Housing creates stable, vibrant, and healthy communities by developing, financing, and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors, and people with special needs.
How does this work affect community needs in Atlanta?
Mercy Housing Southeast owns over 1,000 affordable multifamily rental homes in the Atlanta area. Family apartments provide much needed stability for low-income families working in the service industry. Senior apartments provide an opportunity for residents to continue to thrive and age in place with dignity. Throughout, we connect residents to wrap around services focused on economic stability, youth academic enrichment, and health partnerships.
Tell us a little bit about how Mercy Housing and Enterprise partner together?
Enterprise has been a critical partner with MHSE for a long time. Enterprise advances the policy field overall in the Atlanta area, creating space and opportunities for MHSE to fulfill our mission. In 2018, Mercy Housing and Enterprise partnered on an Affordable Housing Peer Exchange, which took 40+ Atlanta leaders to Seattle share best practices and lessons learned. Without Enterprise’s depth and national footprint, this effort would not have been possible.
What are you most excited about the Thrive Sweet Auburn project?
We are thrilled to work with PCCI, and we believe that partnerships make developments better. We are also excited to make a dent in the homelessness challenge in the Sweet Auburn/ Old Fourth Ward area: the development will include MHSE’s first permanent supportive housing units.
What do you think will change about affordable housing over the next 5 years and what are you most excited about how Mercy Housing can impact that change?
A recession is on its way within the next five years. We hope that Mercy Housing can be an anchor of stability for families and seniors through it all.