From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Agency offers affordable housing video, study guide

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 13 Feb 2003 15:17:44 -0600

Feb. 13, 2003  News media contact: Tim Tanton7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn. 

By United Methodist News Service

The United Methodist Church's pension benefits agency has released a video on
its affordable housing investment program, along with a study guide for
groups and congregations on affordable housing issues.

"Sharing the Dream: A Place to Call Home" is a 16-minute video that focuses
on the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits' affordable
housing and community development investments. It showcases the Margaret J.
Bennett House in Baltimore and Woodland City in Dallas as examples of
affordable housing successes. Both benefited from investments made by the

"The lack of affordable housing units for many low-income Americans is a
crisis to which the church must respond," said Gale Whitson-Schmidt, deputy
general secretary of the board in Evanston, Ill. "The general board has found
that we can invest the assets entrusted to us in ways that support this
important mission of the United Methodist Church."

The board, a major institutional investor, has been involved in affordable
housing projects since 1990, and its commitments total nearly $1 billion. The
agency's investments have resulted in the creation or renovation of more than
20,000 affordable housing units in the United States, while earning an
annualized rate of return of about 7.5 percent on behalf of the participants
in the denomination's benefits plans.

"Sharing the Dream" and its accompanying study guide may be used in
classroom, Sunday school, retreat and other group settings to create greater
awareness of affordable housing issues. The study guide describes what the
church says about affordable housing, what some congregations and conferences
have done to develop affordable housing ministries, and what churches and
individuals can do at the local level. 

Copies are available at no charge from the board. More details can be found
# # #
*The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits provided the
information for this story.

United Methodist News Service
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