Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A., a national bank subsidiary of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), has been recognized with the highest rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for its work meeting the credit needs of the communities it serves. The Firm received a rating of “Outstanding” for the Bank’s community reinvestment activities for the sixth consecutive time, and the fourth since being examined by the OCC.
The associated evaluation report from the OCC, an independent bureau in the United States Department of the Treasury, highlights several of the Bank’s initiatives focused on preserving affordable housing and expanding community services. The Performance Evaluation noted the Bank’s leadership role in working with a national foundation to better understand the affordable housing and community development landscape, to illuminate gaps in capital deployment, and to develop potential solutions. The evaluation commends the Bank’s innovation and responsiveness to community needs.
“Morgan Stanley is proud to have for the sixth time in a row received an “Outstanding” rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for our community development work,” said Eric Heaton, President of Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A. "Our focus remains to utilize the expertise of our Firm to support affordable housing and economic development in the communities where we do business.”
The OCC noted that the Bank leverages Morgan Stanley’s investment banking expertise to enhance community development outcomes. Programs cited included the use of private equity funds to help mission-oriented sponsors acquire and stabilize multifamily rental properties, and to extend affordability protections and fund services for residents. The report also recognized the Bank’s commitment to investing in Low Income Housing Tax Credits during corporate tax reform when affordable housing projects were at risk due to market uncertainty.
The Performance Evaluation highlighted several transactions, including:
· An investment in Salt Lake City to support the construction of 5th East Apartments, an outpatient treatment facility and 75 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals, including persons with mental illness and physical disabilities. The Project is being developed by First Step House which is a highly experienced advocate for Salt Lake City’s homeless population and a behavioral health treatment provider.
· An investment to support the construction of a 42,000 square foot community services campus in Washington, D.C., anchored by Martha’s Table and Community of Hope. The Commons at Stanton Square co-locates affordable housing and homelessness prevention services with wellness, nutrition and educational services. The development was funded through Morgan Stanley’s Healthy Future’s Fund created in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and The Kresge Foundation.
Maurice Jones, President and CEO of LISC, noted that, “In creating the Healthy Futures Fund, LISC and Morgan Stanley delivered on a shared belief that co-location and integration could be transformational to the lives of residents, and bring a new level of equity and inclusion. The Commons at Stanton Square is a national model of excellence in its combination of housing with health care, social services and child care.”
The OCC and community partners also praised the Bank’s commitment to the Salt Lake City market. One example noted in the OCC report is the Bank’s creation of a Salt Lake City Fellowship program. The Bank works with the University of Utah and local community development organizations to provide six graduate students with stipends to work on critical community projects that might not otherwise be undertaken.
Maria Garciaz, CEO of NeighborWorks Salt Lake, stated, “The fellowship program has been a tremendous resource for us and a great opportunity for the University of Utah master’s students who have participated in projects ranging from creating a community needs assessment to planning and developing a new affordable real estate project.”
Mike Mantle, Head of Community Development Finance, Morgan Stanley Bank N.A., said, “Morgan Stanley continually looks for areas where we can make an impact, filling in gaps in the affordable housing and economic development markets and helping communities prosper. An example is our investment in an affordable housing project in the rural community of Ely, Nevada. For Morgan Stanley, it was a small transaction, but it was incredibly meaningful to a small town of 4,000 people. We partnered with Rural Community Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit focused on ensuring that rural communities are vibrant and healthy.”
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