History of DeSales Community Housing Corporation
DeSales Community Housing Corporation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation formed in 1976 by residents of Tower Grove East and Fox Park neighborhoods in South St. Louis. In fulfillment of its mission, DeSales has throughout its history adapted its strategies to meet changing circumstances. Initially, DeSales focused on neighborhood marketing to promote lending, home buying, and rehabilitation at a time when the City of St. Louis faced massive disinvestment and loss of population. Later, DeSales was a champion of the use of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and played a support role to private developers in rehabilitating large numbers of properties within the housing corporation's service area.
Then, in the aftermath of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, DeSales undertook a reassessment of its role. During this period, most of the private developers who had operated in the city went out of business. In Fox Park and Tower Grove East, there was an increasing feeling that the momentum of progress experienced in prior years had been lost and could not be regained. In an effort to counteract this perception and restart investment on a significant scale, DeSales resolved, for the first time in its history, to become a producer of housing.
Over its history, DeSales has been instrumental in generating over $45 million in housing investment in Fox Park and Tower Grove East. DeSales has been the recipient of local, state, regional, and national awards for its innovative approaches to housing and community development.