Affordable Housing Leaders Joe Hagan and Joe Wishcamper to Receive Prestigious NH&RA Vision Awards

WASHINGTON (STL.News) – The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) announced today that two affordable housing champions—Joe Hagan, President Emeritus at the National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF), Chicago, and Lyndel J. “Joe” Wishcamper, President at The Wishcamper Companies, Inc., Portland, ME—will receive the 2019 Affordable Housing Vision Award in recognition of their stewardship and expansion of affordable housing opportunities for low-income families around the country. The awards will be presented at a luncheon in conjunction with the NH&RA Fall Developers Forum on October 16 at the Harvard Club of Boston.

“Our 2019 honorees represent the very best of our field. In their decades of work to promote affordable housing developments and policy, Joe Hagan and Joe Wishcamper have demonstrated innovation, leadership and commitment to their respective businesses and the affordable housing community,” says NH&RA President Thom Amdur. “They have each led teams responsible for the financing and preservation of tens of thousands of affordable apartments across the country and countless more community development projects.”

“Joe Hagan and his colleagues at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency saw the early potential of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to raise capital for affordable housing,” says Peter Bell, CEO of NH&RA. “He and a small handful of Housing Finance Agency executives proactively collaborated with private sector developers to educate institutional investors on the potential of the program. He was a fixture at early forums hosted by NH&RA as the affordable housing community developed financing models, program rules and best practices for what would become most affordable housing development tool in the U.S.”

“Joe Wishcamper has dedicated his career to serving affordable housing residents. He has specialized in preserving at-risk affordable housing assets for the long-term,” says Amdur. “He is also a dedicated advocate for the affordable housing cause, advocating for affordable housing and community development programs in the executive branch, U.S. Congress and state legislatures.”

Joe Hagan, National Equity Fund, Inc.

Since joining National Equity Fund, Inc. in 2000, Hagan has been instrumental in building the organization into a formidable industry leader. NEF has generated in excess of $15 billion in LIHTC equity investments that helped create 176,804 affordable homes in 2,687 developments across the country. “Hagan’s career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors where he has helped transform numerous organizations into leaders in the affordable housing industry,” notes Amdur. “Hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans have benefited from Joe’s leadership and creativity in affordable housing finance.”

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Hagan began his career in affordable housing in 1979 as the Executive Director at Near North Housing, a neighborhood nonprofit working on homeownership, before taking on the role of Executive Director of the Pickaway Metropolitan Housing Authority in 1981. A few years later he became the Director of Multifamily Finance at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), where he launched the agency’s efforts to implement the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit after the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

In 1989, Hagan joined with Hal Keller to create Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH), one of the first state equity funds in the country. He served as President of OCCH until 1993, when he was named President of the newly formed Bank One Community Development Corporation, making investments across 12 states. Bank One was later acquired by JP Morgan Chase. Under his leadership NEF, has consistently been ranked as one of the top three tax credit equity syndicators by annual volume, with a focus on mission-driven investments alongside long-term developer and investor partners. In addition to his affiliation with NH&RA, Hagan also served as the President of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition and has been feted by numerous organizations including Fannie Mae, the Affordable Housing Investors Council and Affordable Housing Finance Magazine.

Joe Wishcamper, The Wishcamper Companies, Inc.

Joe Wishcamper began his career in affordable housing in 1970 and in his nearly 50 years as a community developer has owned, developed or redeveloped over 15,000 affordable housing apartments throughout the country. Over the course of his career he became an expert and innovator in almost every major federal community development program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Services, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Through his affiliated companies, Wishcamper owns interests in properties in 25 states.

In addition to his role leading the Wishcamper Companies, Joe is also the Executive Board Advisor to Wishrock Housing & Investment Group, a major affordable housing development company led by Joe’s son, Rick Wishcamper. He is also a partner in Wishcamper Development Partners, an affordable housing development company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, led by Fletcher Ray and Justin Metcalf. He is a long-time member of NH&RA and the National Leased Housing Association.

“Throughout his career, Joe Wishcamper has distinguished himself as an innovator and early adopter across the spectrum of affordable housing programs,” notes Amdur. “I first got to know Joe when NH&RA started work on our Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Initiative in 2013. His organization was an early adopter of sustainable development principals and become one of the first private sector affordable housing companies to become a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. His leadership was instrumental in several major NH&RA initiatives in recent years including our Asset Management Council and Bond Developers Council.”

In addition to developing affordable housing, Wishcamper has served in leadership capacities in numerous organizations dedicated to affordable housing and community development. He and his wife Carol founded Springboard to Opportunity, a Mississippi-based nonprofit organization that works with residents of affordable housing to help them reach their goals in school, work and life. He was the founder and first president of the Maine Real Estate Development Association, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System, Maine Public Broadcasting and the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He served as a board member of the Maine Medical Center, Cumberland County Civic Center and Loring Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority, and several nonprofit organizations. He has also received numerous awards for civic and philanthropic leadership, having been named as Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year and the Colby College Maine Philanthropist of the Year.

NH&RA congratulates both of our honorees and thanks you for your life-long commitment to affordable housing. To learn more about the Affordable Housing Vision Awards and the NH&RA Developer’s Forum, visit www.housingonline.com.

About the Affordable Housing Vision Awards

Each year since 2004, NH&RA has bestowed its Affordable Housing Vision Award to affordable housing and community development leaders who have made valuable contributions to the field and demonstrated years of leadership, commitment and imagination. Previous Vision Award winners include the late Mayor Tom Menino, former Congressman Barney Frank, Jack Manning of Boston Capital and Lisa Alberghini of the Boston Archdiocese Planning Office for Urban Affairs.

About NH&RA

For more than 40 years, the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association has been providing an ongoing forum for professionals in affordable housing and historic rehabilitation to exchange information and build new business relationships. For more information on the Vision Awards, the Fall Developers Forum, or NH&RA, please visit our website at www.housingonline.com or contact Thom Amdur, 202-939-1753, [email protected]