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Inter-Mac Wins OPIC Impact Award for Excellence in Development Finance

Company's Large-Scale Workforce Homeownership Initiative in Honduras Earns Accolades
March 11, 2014

WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) honored Inter-Mac International, Inc. with an Impact Award in the Access to Finance category for Los Castaños de Choloma, a workforce homeownership initiative in Honduras that provides safe, affordable housing and economic opportunities to low-income families. OPIC selected eight award winners among its roster of clients across six categories that are endeavoring to advance economic and social development in emerging economies.

Inter-Mac Wins OPIC Impact Award for Excellence in Development Finance Press Release Image

Inter-Mac Wins OPIC Impact Award for Excellence in Development Finance

"OPIC's development finance model depends on partnerships with businesses that have big visions, experience in challenging markets, and a commitment to see their work through to outcomes that are successful from both a business and a development standpoint," said Elizabeth Littlefield, president and chief executive officer of OPIC. "OPIC clients are having a profound impact on peoples' lives that is tangible, enduring, and inspiring."

The 2,400-unit Los Castaños de Choloma community is currently home to approximately 5,000 residents in Choloma"the sixth largest and fastest-growing city in Honduras. Located in the Sula Valley on the periphery of San Pedro Sula, this region is widely known as the most violent in the world and has become the epicenter of the humanitarian emigration crisis. The region is challenged by extreme strains on infrastructure, widespread poverty, intense violence, and a lack of economic opportunity. Such factors have contributed to a severe shortage of safe, affordable housing and limited financing to support local housing development. And as local banks do not serve the majorities who earn one- to three-times the minimum wage in Honduras"approximately $330 per month"these families traditionally cannot secure access to mortgage financing.

In partnership with OPIC, Inter-Mac pioneered a 26-year financing model for Los Castaños de Choloma that allows these families to own a basic, high-quality home by enabling them to make an affordable down payment equal to approximately one month's salary, and monthly payments that are roughly equivalent to the amount they would otherwise pay in rent for a sub-standard home lacking critical services such as electricity and running water. The monthly payment also is inclusive of taxes, insurance, the maintenance of private infrastructure and common amenities, a community school that serves more than 500 children, and security; thereby allowing the community to be truly self-sustaining.

"In a region that is experiencing such elevated levels of poverty and crime, Inter-Mac's model has been rigorously tested and proven, and it is more needed than ever. Together with our local developer and builder partner HOLA Realty, we are able to offer a secure, family-oriented housing community with the necessary infrastructure to promote health and prosperity along with a sensible financing plan that enables families to build lasting wealth while remaining in Honduras," said Tom Livelli, president of Inter-Mac International. "In effect, our community is transforming tenants into citizens, instilling pride of ownership, a sense of permanency, and greater stability in an area where that has been wholly lacking and people have been fleeing en masse. We are truly honored to play a role in this transformation and to help lift families out of poverty. Our mission is to help low-income families lead lives of greater financial certainty, physical security, community engagement, and wellbeing. We are proud of our success in Honduras and excited to continue expanding this mission to include other regions of Latin America and beyond."

With much of the low-income population in Latin America living in informal, makeshift housing and often lacking basic services like clean running water, electricity, sanitary plumbing, and even sufficient shelter, Inter-Mac's work establishes the necessary foundation for families to seize opportunities that they had never imagined possible, to transform their lives, and to establish a more positive trajectory for generations to come. Through this award, OPIC has recognized the impact of Inter-Mac's work on the low-income workforce community in Honduras and continues to enthusiastically support Inter-Mac's mission.

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About Inter-Mac International, Inc.

Inter-Mac, an affiliate of real estate firm Clark Realty Capital, provides a unique workforce homeownership initiative designed for developing economies. The inaugural community under the program, a 3,500-home community called Los Castaños de Choloma, is successfully underway in Honduras with the support of the Honduran government. Constructed by HOLA Realty, the community brings essentials such as paved roads, running water, electricity, and sewer connections to families who may not have previously enjoyed these basic comforts. The gated community provides a truly safe and secure atmosphere for families to thrive, with plans in progress for a centrally-located community playground, bus terminal, and school. For more information, please visit www.intermac.com.

About the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

OPIC is the U.S. Government's development finance institution, mobilizing private capital to help solve critical development challenges and advance U.S. foreign policy. In collaboration with the U.S. private sector, OPIC helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs, and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs. For more information, visit www.opic.com.