March 16. 2005
MARY SCHOEN-CLARK RETURNS TO FOUNDING CEO POSITION WITH
MIDAMERICA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP
Cedar Rapids, IA – April 7, 2005 –MidAmerica Housing Partnership (MAHP) is pleased to announce that MAHP’s founding President and CEO, Mary Schoen-Clark, has come home to the organization she launched over 14 years ago. Asked to “come home to Iowa” by Chair Henry Royer and the MAHP Board of Directors, how could she say no? When asked how MAHP compares to other non-profit housing providers Mary reports that working in other parts of the country have confirmed her suspicions about MAHP – that it is a uniquely effective organization that is often ahead of its time. Mary says she has had the opportunity to work in other states “in my roles with Mercy Housing, like Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska and Michigan, with communities that would love to have a local housing and community development tool like MAHP of which Cedar Rapids and Iowa should be proud.” William B Quarton says, “it is a dream to have her back home in Cedar Rapids…doing the thing she does best – creating a place to live for working families.”
Mary returns during a very busy time for MAHP as construction continues on its new town home development. “The Gables”, 20 townhouses comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom units, will be MAHP’s sophomore effort in creating housing that is very affordable to working families. Board Chair Henry Royer set a lofty goal twelve years ago, “to define ‘affordable’ by our own terms, not the government’s”.
“We don’t want to provide people with just a place to live, we want to provide people with supportive services that would help them better their lives, live with dignity and reach their full potential. I think we have done it with these homes!” states Mary Schoen-Clark.
Among the other projects Mary is also leading the charge to re open MAHPs popular EcoYouth Salvage Program. EcoYouth, prepared at- risk youth for the job market by employing them to recapture, recycle and reuse construction materials once destined for the landfill.
Schoen-Clark has received national recognition as a housing expert. She was appointed to the Iowa Governor’s 2000 Housing Task force spear-heading the tax credit set aside for the “hard to house” households at or below 40% of Area Median Income, 2001. She was honored with the McAuley Institute’s “Courage in Community” Award in 1997. Under Schoen-Clark’s leadership, in just 12 years, MAHP grew from one and a half employees and an intern, a $40,000 budget for six months and four rental units, to 43 positions, a $ 7 million annual budget and 503 affordable rental units developed. MAHP will soon construct it’s 100th home for ownership. The private nonprofit has also expanded to 13 Iowa communities statewide and created $64 million in housing economic activity in the Cedar Rapids area alone. MAHP has educated over a thousand people on their way to buying a home and provided free budgeting and tenant education classes to hundreds more.
Mary seems to have housing in her blood, as she follows her great-grandmother’s and her grandfather’s footsteps as the head of a housing organization. Mrs. E. Schoen Morgan was the President of Schoen-Morgan Co., Inc. in the late 1800’s. Advertising for the company states that it was “A complete building organization comprised of skilled artisans, mechanics and dealers in materials and equipment linked together in a cooperative spirit, making home ownership a reality.” Schoen Morgan Co., Inc. built homes across the Midwest centered in Indiana.
Schoen-Clark has surpassed Great-Grandmother and Grandfather’s company through sheer numbers helped and mission orientation – Great-Grandmother would be proud.
- Students Depart Friday for spring break trip to assist Hurricane Katrina victims
- Mary Schoen-Clark’s good friend and benefactor for MAHP – William B. Quarton