LCMS housing corporation begins first fiscal year

July 1 marks the start of the first fiscal year of operation for the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation (NHSC), the charitable and education organizaKienkertion established by the LCMS Board for Human Care Ministries to assist LCMS congregations, districts, social ministry organizations, and other partners in developing capacity for local housing initiatives.

In February, the NHSC board of directors named housing and community development veteran Marie Kienker as the corporation’s executive director. Previously, Kienker served as deputy director of LCMS World Relief/Human Care, the Synod’s mercy and humanitarian arm, and as manager of LCMS Housing Ministries. She is a former deputy director of the Fort Wayne, Ind., Housing Authority and past chief of the Carroll County, Md., Bureau of Housing and Community Development.

“The LCMS is a national leader in housing ministry, and our new corporation is a continuation and enhancement of that leadership,” said Kienker, referring to the Synod’s pioneering role in the Nehemiah housing development in Brooklyn, N.Y., that began in the 1970s.

The Synod was the first denomination to commit financially to that effort that dramatically transformed a blighted community and is now a model for successful, faith-based neighborhood renewal.

“Local, faith-based housing initiatives help stabilize communities and strengthen churches by providing decent, affordable home ownership for low-to moderate-income working families,” Kienker said.  “The National Housing Support Corporation is dedicated to providing support for those initiatives in neighborhoods close to our LCMS altars.”

The corporation’s main function, Kienker said, is to seek and secure funding from government, private, and corporate sources for local LCMS housing ministry initiatives.

The NHSC is involved in housing and community development efforts in cities that include St Louis, Fort Wayne, Baltimore, New York, Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Fairfax, Va.  “As the corporation networks with our congregations and districts currently doing community-based projects, this list will grow,” Kienker said.

Dr. Leo S. Mackay, president of Integrated Coast Guard Systems and former deputy director of the Department of Veteran Affairs, is NHSC board chair. Board members also include attorneys William D. Swift and Janet M. Johnson; former LCMS Northern Illinois District President William Ameiss; and LCMS World Relief/Human Care Executive Director Matthew Harrison.

For more information about the NHSC, contact LCMS World Relief/Human Care at (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1392 or 1380, or marie.kienker@lcms.org.

Posted July 6, 2006

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