Grant brings business students into affordable housing industry

  • April 27, 2009

This year, the College of Business and Economics will establish the Merritt Scholars Fund, thanks to a $23,000 grant from Oakland’s Merritt Community Capital Corporation. The fund will provide scholarships for current business undergraduates in the real estate administration option, covering tuition for four quarters and offering a paid summer internship at Merritt Capital.

Merritt Capital, a nonprofit organization founded in 1989, makes Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funds available to developers and investors throughout California who are building or maintaining affordable housing for renters. They have supported 18 properties in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties, including several for senior citizens and special needs residents.

Tammie Simmons-Mosley, assistant professor of accounting and finance, said the students awarded the scholarships will gain valuable exposure to career paths in the industry, from property management to public policy. “There’s always a need for affordable housing, not just in this economy,” she said.

This is the first grant CSUEB has received from Merritt Capital, said Sandy Sanders, the director of corporate and foundation relations in University Advancement. “As a company that began in Oakland, Merritt shares the University’s goal of serving this region,” he said. “The internship component is key for inspiring students to look for a career in this field.”

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