Robert S. Curry

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Winner
Award Category: 
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Champion

Rob Curry has a simple vision—that everyone has the opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a neighborhood connected to opportunities. In his 20 years at CHN, Rob has executed his vision through the use of LIHTCs and a deep commitment to partnerships.

Under Rob’s leadership, CHN has grown from a small Cleveland affordable housing developer and service provider (2,100 homes, 5,000 served annually) to an organization that has developed over 6,000 homes and serves more than 30,000 low-income families annually.  CHN is now executing an expansion strategy into neighboring states to share its unique skillset, particularly single-family LIHTC lease purchase and permanent supportive housing.

Through his hands-on approach, Rob led CHN in:

  • securing 45 LIHTC awards representing $350 million in tax credits and 3,100 new homes for low income populations;
  • strengthened CHN’s nationally replicated LIHTC home ownership model, resulting in 1,000 new low-income homeowners to date;
  • created a loan pool to provide seller-financing for LIHTC homes in the aftermath of the economic and housing crisis, resulting in more than $5 million in home loans to 600 low-income families—with only one foreclosure.

Among his accomplishments, Rob has led the organization in convening or collaborating in truly transformative community initiatives including:

  • Cuyahoga County Housing First Initiative (2003 – present)
    Rob has been a passionate and effective advocate to help end chronic homelessness in our community. With Enterprise Community Partners leading the initiative, CHN became the lead developer and has developed 11 LIHTC financed permanent supportive housing projects representing over 700 units. With the completion of CHN’s last project in 2019, the Housing First coalition will have functionally ended chronic homelessness in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
  • Cleveland LIHTC Y16 Project Stabilization & Preservation Initiative
    Rob convened and co-led this effort to financially stabilize 18 LIHTC-financed lease purchase projects in Cleveland, owned by community organizations. Through his leadership and advocacy, the initiative raised over $10 million to financially stabilize these projects and create a viable pathway to home ownership for the 700 families living in these homes.
  • Opportunity Homes Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative
    This collaboration, convened by Rob and co-led by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, impacted over 600 single-family homes during the foreclosure crisis through green rehab, demolition or land reuse. Rob created the innovative housing model which combined federal stimulus dollars and LIHTCs to target high-need areas through a combination of for-sale and LIHTC lease purchase homes.

Today, Rob is an officer of the statewide Ohio Housing Council, a policy group made up of affordable housing developers that has helped to shape thinking on affordable housing policy. His biggest contribution at the state level has been his leadership advocating for (and retaining) the single-family Lease Purchase model within Ohio’s affordable housing plan (via the QAP). Nationally, his most significant influence has been around the Lease Purchase model as a viable tax credit strategy. Rob also was an influential in the Cuyahoga County Advisory group which, under the group’s direction, created the first comprehensive housing plan for the county in its history.