National Equity Fund (NEF), a nonprofit multi-family, affordable, real estate investment manager has expanded its reach in the west with the acquisition of the assets of Mountain Plains Equity Group, Inc. (MPEG), including the ownership of MPEG Acceptance Corporation (Acceptance Corp.).

Based in Billings, MPEG began operations in August 2003 as a small Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndicator and has been responsible for the development of affordable housing primarily in six states: Alaska, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

MPEG Acceptance Corp. was created by MPEG to act as a project level investment entity and routinely serves as a special limited partner in LIHTC project partnerships. “As the need for affordable housing grows, NEF recognizes that we must continue to find innovative solutions that enable us to provide more safe and stable housing for individuals and families across the country,” said Matt Reilein, president and CEO of National Equity Fund. “The acquisition of Mountain Plains Equity Group allows us direct access to build a presence in states where NEF has not traditionally had a large market share. Now, we have an opportunity to support sponsors and investors in a new region and offer them NEF’s full suite of products and capabilities to support and create affordable housing.”

With the acquisition, NEF now manages six new private equity funds that hold a total of 49 LIHTC properties. All the properties are focused on serving residents and families who identify as low #income with some properties setting aside units for people with disabilities and aging seniors. “The mission of Mountain Plains Equity Group directly correlates to NEF’s mission to create and deliver innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing,” said Reilein.

“With our strong foundation and decades of experience in the LIHTC space, we are confident that this acquisition will help deepen relationships across the country and help keep rents affordable for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

In 2022, NEF raised and deployed more than $2.1 billion in affordable housing investments, including more than $1.2 billion in LIHTC-specific investment. The addition of MPEG represents an extended reach that aligns with NEF’s strategic priority to grow its core LIHTC business through innovative partnerships.

For the past two decades, MPEG has been led by president and CEO Don Sterhan. Under Sterhan’s leadership, MPEG has created a major footprint within the mountain and western region by building strategic, impactful relationships with investors and sponsors.

 “After 20 years of serving as the president of Mountain Plains Equity Group, I’m honored to embrace our colleagues at National Equity Fund as we continue our journey together to provide housing for individuals and families in need,” said Sterhan. “MPEG has an outstanding commitment and reputation providing affordable homes to the western region, and now, with the backing of NEF, we can broaden our horizons to positively impact communities that were previously beyond our reach.” Sterhan went on to say “The sale transaction and partnership with NEF is based upon the ‘finance’ side of MPEG’s business, that being the syndication of LIHTC and the management of Investor equity funds. The staff and management of MPEG will nevertheless remain active and engaged in the ‘development’ side of the business. In this capacity, the MPEG personnel will redirect their focus and continue their efforts to develop affordable using properties under the name of CR Builders, LLC.”

First organized in 2011, CR Builders, LLC has successfully developed over 20 affordable housing properties in this market area. In restructuring the business and shifting emphasis, the company will now be devoting 100% of its time and resources to housing development activity.


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