Loan to Florida Community Loan Fund is one of the largest of its type among community foundations
ORLANDO, FL – September 22, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — In response to the growing need for affordable rental housing, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties http://www.yourcommunityfoundation.org announced today an unprecedented $4 million low-interest loan to the Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) http://www.fclf.org/ , a nonprofit statewide lending institution. This investment in affordable housing is one of the largest ever made nationwide by a community foundation to a Community Development Finance Institution[i]. The announcement took place at the Florida Housing Coalition’s statewide affordable housing conference in Orlando.
The Community Foundation utilized a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation http://www.macfound.org/ , a national leader on affordable housing, to fund its loan to FCLF.
“The Community Foundation strives to provide community leadership and solutions through the power of informed and disciplined philanthropy,” said William M. Matthews, Chairman of the Community Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for their continued support of the Community Foundation, now totaling more than $27 million, and for the example they have set nationally in mission-related investing.”
“With a decline in the number of rental units, the rising cost of housing and growing affordability gaps, the Community Foundation, through their partnership with the FCLF, is rightly taking action to ensure that low income and working families have the opportunity to live in decent, affordable, nearby housing,” said Julia M. Stasch Vice President, Human and Community Development of the MacArthur Foundation.
Even with the foreclosure crisis and collapse of housing prices, housing is still unaffordable for most workers. A study commissioned by the Community Foundation last year found that, since 2000, the number of extremely cost burdened renter households increased about 40% in Palm Beach and Martin counties.
The FCLF will invest the $4 million loan in a new $25 million Affordable Housing Preservation Loan Pool Demonstration Program and other affordable rental housing projects in Palm Beach and Martin counties. FCLF financing made possible by the community foundations’ investment, as well other private and public investors, will be available to non-profit organizations and their community partners to develop and preserve affordable rental housing units.
FCLF will also place a local community development professional in the region and will continue to offer its other community development lending programs in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
“This partnership with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties represents an extraordinary step forward in meeting the mission of the Loan Fund and strengthening the Florida affordable housing field,” said Ignacio Esteban, Executive Director of the Florida Community Loan Fund. “Strategic investments like this preserve and create affordable housing in places community foundations care about by tapping the capacity of community development financial institutions in ways that make both good business and social impact sense. The times and tremendous need for affordable housing in Florida call for more new partnerships like this.”
“The cost of housing is a dismaying surprise for those who thought they lived in paradise, only to find the affordability of a home was out of reach,” said Leslie Lilly, President and CEO of the Community Foundation at the conference. “We know that if we as a state and community don’t act, we will lose a building block fundamental to the economic security of millions of families.”
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of more than 27 community foundations statewide and more than 700 nationwide that work to improve quality of life in their communities through charitable giving. Conference attendees and affordable housing advocates across the state are hopeful that this new collaboration will encourage others. “Working together,” said Lilly, “our hope is to change the conversation about why affordable housing is fundamental to the future prosperity of this state.”
For more information, please visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org.
About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties www.cfpbmc.org
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties improves communities through the power of philanthropy. Since 1972, The Community Foundation has provided over $78 million in grants and scholarships in the community. The Foundation accepts contributions in support of community initiatives, special projects and permanent endowment. Income from endowment is used to make grants and award scholarships primarily in Palm Beach and Martin counties.
About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation www.macfound.org
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.
About the Florida Community Loan Fund www.fclf.org
FCLF provides flexible capital and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations engaged in affordable housing projects, economic development efforts, nonprofit community facilities and essential social services. Since it began lending in 1996, FCLF has originated more than $49 million in low-cost credit to projects sponsored by community-based nonprofit organizations throughout Florida and has leveraged an additional $298 million in loans and grants from various public and private sources. FCLF has a broad range of investors including most major financial institutions operating in Florida, individual investors, religious communities, national foundations and trade associations. The Florida Community Loan Fund is the only statewide not-for-profit federally-certified community development financial institution (CDFI) in Florida.