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MEEF - Middle East Engineering Projects News & Releases - previous page

Fund to finance housing for low- and middle-income households in Jordan and other parts of the Middle East


International Housing Solutions (IHS) has won a tender from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to commit US$100 million in funding towards a larger investment pool of up to a potential US$1.0 billion that will finance housing for low- and middle-income households in the Middle East and Africa, with a particular focus on Jordan.

IHS is a joint venture between MuniMae of the US and Irish investors including Cathal Conaty, CEO of IHS, and Frank Gormley, Chairman of top Irish development firm Howard Eurocape.

OPIC is the US government-sponsored agency that supports US private investment in emerging markets. It provides funding (from large structured finance transactions to small business loans), political risk insurance and other assistance to companies that, in turn, help promote the further economic development of developing countries.

Against stiff competition from a large number of applicants worldwide, IHS has won an OPIC tender that will see OPIC commit US$100 million in debt to the affordable housing effort. IHS will raise additional equity capital from third-party international investors and contribute its own funds as well. The OPIC and other funding can then be leveraged (at the project level) up to a potential maximum of 70%, providing a total potential commitment of up to US$1.0 billion to fund the construction of affordable housing, much of it in Jordan.

“We are very excited to have won such a competitive tender and to be able to bring such large amounts of foreign investment into the Middle East,” says Cathal Conaty, IHS CEO. “Both OPIC and IHS are committed to making a difference in developing countries around the world, and this amount of capital is a major step toward really making an impact.

He explains, “IHS has already been speaking to several international institutional capital providers who are keen to participate. Our US partner MuniMae has a long track record of successfully raising third-party capital for affordable housing projects nationally - the company is a leading provider of debt and equity financing for affordable housing in the US. So we are very confident of raising additional capital.”

“IHS has identified several housing projects in Jordan which are attractive investments. We looking at a number of deals, and will be announcing them once they have been finalised.”

“We can be a valuable partner in any local project because of our expertise in affordable housing and our understanding of what it takes to make these investments work. OPIC backing will help to lower our overall cost of funds. At the same time, however, we will not be providing finance directly to families, in the form of mortgages – we will always work through local developers and financial institutions to help families meet their housing needs,” Conaty stresses.

He concludes: “We are dedicated to helping bridge the housing gap that exists in Jordan and other parts of the Middle East. As with our business in the US, we want to reinforce the idea that ‘doing good’ can also make for good business.”

About MuniMae

US-based MuniMae and its subsidiaries arrange debt and equity financing for developers and owners of real estate and clean energy projects. The Company also provides investment management and advisory services for institutional investors. Assets under management exceed $18 billion including investments in over 3,000 multifamily properties, containing more than 320,000 units in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Through its affiliate, MMA Financial, Inc., the Company manages nearly $8.0 billion of tax credit equity investments in affordable housing projects in the United States. In addition to syndicating tax credit equity investments, MMA Financial offers a broad range of debt financing products for developers of affordable housing projects.

About Howard Eurocape

Howard Eurocape Limited is a Dublin-based property investment and development company. It is one of the major development groups in Ireland and the UK. Its associate in South Africa, Eurocape Holdings (Pty) Ltd, has expanded rapidly in the last few years to become a leading player in the South African market.

Chairman of IHS and Howard Eurocape, Frank Gormley, has a strong affinity for South Africa and has already committed billions to help rejuvenate the historical and cultural heart of Cape Town. He has been particularly active in inner-city regeneration initiatives, and last year launched the St. Patrick’s Trust to provide seed capital and support for entrepreneurs and community initiatives in the townships.

Howard Eurocape offers a wide variety of secure prime investment and development opportunities to both the local and international markets. They specialise in joint ventures, working in partnership with a wide range of national and international companies, local governments and individuals. They also offer equity participation to South African and European investors, providing managed competitive returns on funds committed.

For further information on OPIC and its current initiatives in emerging markets (including SA), please visit .




CATHAL CONATY ON TEL +353 1 277 6224.


SHIRLEY HATHERTON OF LANSONS COMMUNICATIONS ON - 020 7294 3615, Mobile: 07711 142 147.


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