NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Lon Cherry, recent Chief Financial Officer of popular radio and television personality Dave Ramsey's The Lampo Group, Inc., has been tapped to run Nashville-based U.S. Housing Renewal
, a public/private partnership seeking to provide home ownership to qualified families affected by the ongoing housing and financial crisis.
"We all know that the American housing market is troubled, and I believe that U.S. Housing Renewal offers a 'win-win' solution for the banking system, the federal government, and, most importantly, the American people. I'm excited to have the opportunity to lead this partnership," said Mr. Cherry.
Mr. Cherry has spent the last four and a half years working with Mr. Ramsey, whose nationally syndicated "The Dave Ramsey Show" radio/television show and best-selling books have helped millions of individuals and groups to live debt-free. Prior to his tenure with The Lampo Group, Mr. Cherry was the Chief Operating Officer and Controller of other corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, and his many years of financial management leadership have given him a deep understanding of the importance of families and individuals living debt-free and avoiding the common financial pitfalls. He combines this experience with a heart for community advocacy.
U.S. Housing Renewal will be structured with a combination of public and private funds for the purpose of purchasing currently non-performing U.S. housing assets from financial institutions and transforming these houses into two-year lease-to-own situations for families who have either lost their homes or have been unable to purchase in the current financial environment. This structure will allow families to rebuild their credit, save for a cash down payment for their home, and complete a targeted educational course in personal finance to understand how to minimize spending and debt, all achieved while living in the home that they will eventually own. At the end of the two-year lease period, the families will purchase their home from the partnership at a discount to current market value using both their cash down payment and a safe, conventional 30-year fixed mortgage loan.
U.S. Housing Renewal is currently in discussions with several federal government agencies to acquire funding made available under both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Troubled Assets Relief Program ("TARP"). All funds employed towards this solution will be held in trust until qualified properties are purchased, and then the deeds for these purchased properties will also remain in trust. At the end of the partnership's anticipated three-year lifecycle, it will repay all invested capital, plus an investment-grade return, back to the sourcing government agency.
Finally, and most importantly, the solution offered by U.S. Housing Renewal addresses a specific part of the housing crisis that is simply being ignored by most politicians and policymakers. President Obama's recently announced foreclosure assistance package is intended to stop future foreclosures via mortgage modification and other tourniquet-like measures necessary to stop the financial bleeding; however, this plan ignores the millions of hard-working Americans who have already lost their homes or who cannot purchase a home in the current financial environment. The solution offered by U.S. Housing Renewal encompasses the best that public/private partnerships have to offer. It combines the resources of the federal government with a market-based mechanism to provide home ownership to those Americans who need and deserve it most.