Syracuse group rides to rescue of Bucks County affordable housing

    A large national nonprofit is providing a lifeline to a Bucks County affordable housing group, taking the Bristol outfit away from the brink of financial collapse.

    The local group, Interfaith Housing Development Corp., began experiencing troubles in the wake of the housing crisis, with some of its homes in foreclosure and scheduled for sheriff’s sales.

    Not anymore, since Syracuse-based Housing Visions stepped in. It agreed to acquire parts of the struggling Interfaith.

    Sister Rita Margraff, who leads the group, said due to Interfaith’s financial distress, persuading foundations to give grants has been difficult. And it was at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal support.

    “Through this new organization, and the backing of Housing Visions, there will be more development of affordable housing in the Lower Bucks county area,” said Margraff, noting that more local staffers will also be added.

    Right now, Margraff’s group provides a place to live for 80 families with just one full-time property manager and a part-time bookkeeper

    Interfaith “has been looking for a like-minded partner and we found one in Housing Visions,” Margraff said. “This partnership strengthens both organizations and increases our capacity to serve. It is a perfect fit.”

    Despite Bucks being one of Pennsylvania’s most affluent counties, housing advocates say many in the county’s lower portion struggle to find apartments they can afford.

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