Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NHC 2009 "Pioneering Housing Strategies" Award Finalist Bank of America

NHC Member Partner Bank of America was a 2009 “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award finalist for its End to End Taxable (E2E) Term Loan product. E2E is the result of a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Impact Community Capital, LLC (Impact), an organization formed by top insurance companies seeking to promote socially responsible investments in underserved communities.

Created to broaden the secondary market for financing affordable multifamily housing with the goal of helping to lower the cost of debt, E2E is designed for projects targeting low- to moderate-income renters with incomes primarily at, or below, 60 percent of the area median income.

Specifically, the partnership enables Bank of America to combine construction loans with permanent loans – providing a single-commitment, single-closing approach to financing affordable multifamily housing or mixed-use real estate. Following construction completion and loan conversion, Impact purchases the permanent loan and then pools loans that can be rated by a major rating agency, creating mortgage-backed securities that meet the investment needs of large institutional investors, particularly insurance companies.

To date, Bank of America has closed and sold over $246 million in E2E Term Loans to Impact’s investment vehicle. The bank’s construction financing associated with E2E Term Loans have reached more than $460 million since the product’s first roll out. These financing commitments have produced more than 12,600 affordable units in 144 housing developments across the U.S. that are either under construction or occupied by low income renters.

It is important to note that the E2E product is part of Bank of America's $1.5 trillion, ten-year community development lending and investment goal that was initiated in January 2009.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Special Guest Feature With Barry Zigas: What's Next for Fannie and Freddie?

Yesterday, the Financial Times published a summary piece on what's likely to happen next to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Obama Administration has committed to laying out options in its February, 2010 budget submission. But the folks responsible for producing them may rue this promise made earlier in 2009 when the rest of the Administration's financial modernization package was unveiled.

The government's unprecedented and aggressive support for the mortgage markets hinges almost entirely on the continued role the two companies play in the market. The private securitization market is dead. Recent research from JP Morgan suggests that it will remain that way from some time to come. It’s unclear what demand for their MBS will be if the Fed makes good on its plan to phase out its own $1.25 trillion MBS purchase program next spring, but no one is ready to roll the dice on an new, untested model just yet.

The two companies also are playing a crucial role in the Administration's Making Home Affordable" mortgage modification program. Once restructured, it isn't clear how that capacity could be easily replicated.

The government may have the two companies exactly where it wants them: firmly under government control, and available to be used to further public policy goals without interference from shareholders or private owners.

With many trillions of outstanding MBS under their guarantee, a huge ongoing role in financing affordable apartment homes, and a combined single family market share around 70 percent now, a great deal of the housing market's immediate and near future health seems to ride on the two companies and the market's faith in their guarantees on the securities.

An awful lot hinges on getting this right. Rushing to a solution merely for the sake of having one is not the right choice.

Barry Zigas is housing policy director for the Consumer Federation of America. He also works with other nonprofits and foundations through Zigas and Associates, LLC.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In-Depth Media Coverage: Center for Housing Policy Affordability Study Finds U.S. Housing Costs are on the Rise

This month, NHC’s research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, released a new report entitled Housing Affordability Trends for Working Households, which found that the share of working owners with a severe housing cost burden – that is, the share of households spending more than half their income on housing – rose from 18 to 20 percent during the three-year period studied. The report’s analysis finds that the share of working owners with a severe housing cost burden – that is, the share of households spending more than half their income on housing – rose from 18 to 20 percent during the three-year period studied. In-depth media coverage of the report includes articles in The Washington Post, The Tampa Tribune and an interview with the Center’s Senior Research Associate Keith Wardrip on WJBC Radio News (IL).

One of the main reasons why home price declines have not improved housing affordability is that most homeowners have not moved since the foreclosure crisis started and, as a result, have not benefited from the lower prices. Other reasons why housing affordability has worsened include: utility costs that have grown at more than double the rate of inflation, increasing housing payments due to adjustable-rate mortgages resetting, and an unemployment rate that began trending up in the last year of the time period studied.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NHC 2009 "Pioneering Housing Strategies" Award Finalist the Atlanta Housing Authority

The Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) was an NHC 2009 “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award finalist for its outstanding work in public housing in Atlanta, which has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past fourteen years. And, along with it, so have many once-broken urban neighborhoods and the often marginalized families living in them. Changes of such significance were possible only through a radical rethinking of how to improve housing and housing options for families living below the poverty line—a rethinking enabled in great part by HOPE VI. Specifically, AHA was determined to use HOPE VI to reverse the cycle of low expectations and poor outcomes.

Today, AHA is assisting 19,500 households (approximately 6,000 more than in 1994) in a much broader array of healthier, safer, and opportunity-enhancing housing, from private apartments rented with Section 8 vouchers to nine new mixed-use, mixed-income communities; five mixed-income communities; and more than thirty-five project-based rental assistance mixed-income arrangements with private owners. AHA is also implementing plans under its Moving to Work agreement to relocate affected households by using Section 8 vouchers and to close and demolish by the end of 2010 its remaining distressed and obsolete family public housing projects and two projects for senior citizens and disabled individuals.

As a result, tens of thousands of Atlantans are living in now-thriving neighborhoods that were once urban “war zones” with crumbling infrastructure, high crime rates, failing schools, and declining property values. As those housing projects have been razed and redeveloped as market-quality, mixed-use, mixed-income communities, Atlanta has flourished. Affluent and middle-class residents are moving in, and the city’s population recently topped 500,000. Crime decreased by at least 44 percent over the last decade, and billions of private dollars have been invested in the city.

Friday, December 18, 2009

NHC Urges Congress and the Administration to Approve “Cash for Caulkers,” a Program That Would Help Create or Save an Estimated 360,000 to 500,000 Job

Statement by NHC President and CEO Conrad Egan
"NHC applauds recent efforts to develop incentives for home energy-efficiency retrofits, and urges Congress and the Administration to work together to authorize a "cash for caulkers" program that would help to create jobs, improve residential energy-efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions and the consumption of limited natural resources. If funded at the proposed $20 billion, the program would create or save an estimated 360,000 to 500,000 jobs. Among other impacts, this innovative program would create direct jobs for local contractors, construction workers, and others in the construction industry, which saw an unemployment rate that reached 21 percent this year. By reducing utility costs for America’s families, it would also increase their spending power, creating additional jobs as those funds are spent.

In addition, by promoting investment in home energy-efficiency, the program would generate important environmental benefits. Energy Department statistics show that more modest home improvements undertaken through the Weatherization Assistance Program have helped to reduce national energy demand by the equivalent of 18 million barrels of oil each year. The proposed "cash for caulkers" program would magnify this impact exponentially, resulting in even greater environmental benefits.

The proposed program would also help to meet the needs of working families that earn too much to qualify for weatherization or utility bill assistance programs targeted to very low-income households, but too little to benefit from the relatively modest tax credits that are now available. This coverage gap, highlighted in a recently-released paper from NHC and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, leaves low- and moderate-income households with growing utility bills and few resources to improve the energy-efficiency of their homes.

Specifically, the program would provide a 50 percent rebate on eligible energy-efficient investments up to $24,000 for a maximum tax credit of $12,000. This is a very substantial incentive that will encourage families to undertake energy-efficiency improvements, putting hundreds of thousands of contractors back to work. While current proposals appear to limit the program to owner-occupied homes, extending eligibility to a broader range of housing types - both single- and multi-family and both renter- and owner-occupied homes - would increase the economic and environmental impacts of the program.

To magnify the impact of the proposal, the Administration and Congress should consider creating a loan guarantee or other mechanism to ensure the availability of up-front financing for the improvements, helping to make the tax credit accessible to working families that may not be able to afford the up-front costs of home retrofits. This would help speed implementation and promote needed job creation."
###

About the Data in this Statement

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Despite Historic Drops in Home Prices, New Study Finds Housing Costs Are Actually On the Rise for America's Families

While the U.S. foreclosure crisis has resulted in a historic drop in home prices, a new Center for Housing Policy report released today reveals that housing affordability has actually worsened for America’s families. The report, entitled Housing Affordability Trends for Working Households, examines the relative affordability of housing for low- and moderate-income working owners and renters between 2005 and 2008. The report’s analysis finds that the share of working owners with a severe housing cost burden – that is, the share of households spending more than half their income on housing – rose from 18 to 20 percent during the three-year period studied. The share of working renters spending more than half their income on housing stayed essentially the same between 2005 and 2008 at approximately 22 percent.

One of the main reasons why home price declines have not improved housing affordability is that most homeowners have not moved since the foreclosure crisis started and, as a result, have not benefitted from the lower prices. Other reasons why housing affordability has worsened include: utility costs that have grown at more than double the rate of inflation, increasing housing payments due to adjustable-rate mortgages resetting, and an unemployment rate that began trending up in the last year of the time period studied.

Watch: In this video, the Center's Keith Wardrip, author of the report, provides an overview of the data, highlighting some of the most prominent trends.



Would You Like to Know How Affordable Housing is in Your Area?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GA Homeowners See Relief Through ANDP's Efforts to Account for Foreclosures in Property Tax Valuation Process

We would like to recognize NHC Member Partner the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. (ANDP) as a finalist for the NHC 2009 “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award for its work in helping to account for foreclosures in the tax valuation process.

While foreclosed properties tend to negatively impact neighborhoods by driving down home values in an area, this is rarely taken into account when it comes to assessing property taxes. Prior to the work of ANDP, tax assessors in Georgia, as a matter of standard practice, did not include foreclosed or bank-owned sales in their property tax valuation process. To help address this disparity and provide relief to tax burdened homeowners, ANDP launched a research project with Robert Charles Lesser and Company (RCLCO), a highly-esteemed national real estate advisory firm, to quantify the gap between current market values and tax assessed values in 15 of Atlanta’s metro zip codes with the highest foreclosure rates.

The campaign produced two comprehensive reports and found that homeowners in the 15 highest-foreclosure zip codes risked overpaying property taxes by $71.6 million. In downtown neighborhoods where the median sales price was $49,900, the median tax assessed value was $140,900, resulting in a potential overpayment to individual homeowners of more than $1,400 annually.

These areas had high concentrations of minority, low-income, female-headed households and unemployed residents – those who could least afford an inflated tax burden. When ANDP repeated this analysis for sales in the second half of 2008, the overpayment risk climbed 66 percent to $118 million.

The analysis caught the attention of key legislators in the Georgia General Assembly. Informed in part by the ANDP and RCLCO reports, legislators introduced a successful bill mandating that tax assessors include foreclosed and bank-owned sales in the valuation process. In May 2009, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that assessors lowered property tax values on 350,000 homes in Metro Atlanta’s five-core counties.

ANDP’s successful efforts represent a timely approach to helping stabilize neighborhoods affected by foreclosure. ANDP’s Susan Adams spoke about these measures in a recent installment of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Foreclosure Response Podcast series. Today, from Noon – 2 p.m. EST Adams will be on the HousingPolicy.org Forum answering questions related to the information in the Podcast. To learn more, please participate in today’s event!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Builders of Hope Honored With NHC 2009 "Pioneering Housing Strategies" Award - Innovative Organization Chosen for "Building Green Communities" Model

Today NHC announced that Builders of Hope, Inc. (BOH) was selected to receive the 2009 NHC “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award for its work in helping to close an expanding gap between the availability and the need for safe, affordable and environmentally-friendly urban housing solutions in the Raleigh, NC area. Specifically, BOH was selected for its uniquely comprehensive Building Green Communities model, which includes its Extreme Green Rehabilitation process and related Work Mentor program. Watch this video to learn more about BOH and its mission.

Through its rehabilitation process, BOH recycles homes slated for demolition using green building standards and then sells them at cost to working families. The organization’s work program provides "green collar" and basic workplace competency job training to chronically unemployed populations, such as the homeless, ex-offenders and at-risk youth, in a full life-mentoring program – helping to contribute to the long-term revitalization and economic sustainability of each community in which BOH works.

Among the organization’s greatest achievements are its contributions to the environment. In 2008 alone, BOH saved more than two million pounds of construction debris from entering landfills. In addition, homes produced using the Extreme Green Rehabilitation model have passed both the North Carolina Healthy Built Homes and Advanced Energy’s SystemVision guarantee process. Ultimately, this means that these energy-efficient homes will be more affordable to owners over the long run with the money they will save on utilities. Additionally, in 2009, BOH was honored as a leader in sustainable development, receiving the City of Raleigh’s Environmental Stewardship Award.

Award Finalists


NHC would like to sincerely thank this year's award finalists, including the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Bank of America, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development, Mercy Housing Chicago, Mercy Housing Idaho, Metropolitan Planning Council, NeighborWorks® America, Ohio Finance Housing Agency, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., San Diego Housing Commission, and Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future.

Beginning this week, NHC will be highlighting project and program submissions from each of the award finalists on “Open House” with its new blog topic entitled, “Pioneering Housing Strategies: NHC Members Making a Difference in Local Communities.”

About the Award

Established this year, the NHC “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award was developed to replace the NHC "Excellence in Housing Communications" Award in order to recognize a broader range of creative activities. The honor acknowledges pioneering, forward-thinking strategies that are changing the way we approach affordable housing and community development initiatives.

The recipient of last year’s NHC "Excellence in Housing Communications" Award was BRIDGE Housing Corporation for its interactive "virtual municipality" BRIDGEtown, which showcases the organization’s mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhoods, providing a valuable framework for developers looking to create similar models in their own communities.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Live at the Forum: John O'Callaghan on ANDP's Neighborhood Stabilization Pilot Program

Don't miss out on today's "Live at the Forum" event with John O'Callaghan, president and CEO, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), who will be discussing ANDP's neighborhood stabilization pilot program, which was recently outlined in an installment in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Foreclosure Response Podcast series. Please see below for event details.
  • Part I - Listen to the Podcast: Make sure to listen to the "Piloting Neighborhood Stabilization Strategies" Podcast prior to participating in the online event.
  • Part II - Log on to the Forum: After listening to the Podcast, log on to the HousingPolicy.org Forum today from 2-4 p.m. EST. John O'Callaghan will be online to answer your questions about the pilot program. All questions should be posted to this thread by pressing the "Add Reply" button. You are welcome to post at any time leading up to or during the online Q&A session. Questions will be answered on a first-come, first-served basis until time runs out, so post early to be sure yours is addressed.
**Note: You will need to refresh your browser from time to time to see new responses as they are added.

About the Foreclosure Response Podcast Series
The Foreclosure Response podcast series is made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Through interviews with experts on various facets of foreclosure - from neighborhood impacts to loan modifications to new strategies - listeners will be engaged in understanding the problems and advancing solutions. Each week, beginning September 24, 2009, and continuing for more than ten weeks, a new interview will be released. HousingPolicy.org is partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to offer online Q&A with the speakers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

HUD Secretary Donovan Keynotes NYHC and NHC 36th Annual Awards Luncheon

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan was the keynote speaker at the New York Housing Conference (NYHC) and National Housing Conference 36th Annual Awards Luncheon in New York City yesterday. He spoke of the foreclosure crisis facing the nation, as well as the solutions aimed at ending the crisis. In addition, Secretary Donovan emphasized the importance of balancing homeownership and rental housing policies, saying:

"Homeownership is incredibly important. But if this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that it is long past time we had a balanced, comprehensive national housing policy – one that supports homeownership, but also provides affordable rental opportunities, and ensures nobody falls through the cracks.

And with $10 billion in the Recovery Act for rental assistance, an increase of over $3 billion more in our FY 2010 budget request, and with $1 billion to capitalize the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, let there be no doubt:

The Federal government is back in the business of rental housing.

But preventing a crisis of this magnitude from happening again is not just about HUD providing more federal resources or providing them more quickly.

It’s also about HUD being a resource – it’s about being a better partner."

Read Secretary Donovan's complete remarks and learn more about the NYHC and NHC 36th Annual Awards Luncheon

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Live at the Luncheon: Bob Lehrman & Carol Lamberg Highlight the NYHC and NHC 36th Annual Awards Luncheon

Today, NHC and its regional affiliate the New York Housing Conference (NYHC) hosted their 36th Annual Awards Luncheon, which honors those who have made New York a better place to live and work. To highlight the gathering, Luncheon Committee Chairman Robert Lehrman, Lodestone Banking Consultancy Inc., spoke about the significance of the event for all New Yorkers. In addition, NYHC Co-Chair Carol Lamberg, Settlement Housing Fund, Inc., outlined the unique relationship between the two affiliates, and how they work together to accomplish their shared goals -- both in New York and in Washington on the Hill. Check out each video below to learn more.

Bob Lehrman Details Significance of NYHC and NHC Awards Luncheon



Carol Lamberg Describes How NYHC and NHC Work Together as Affiliates

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Thursday: HUD Secretary Donovan to Keynote Prestigious NYHC and NHC 36th Annual Awards Luncheon

In just two days, on December 10, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan will keynote the 36th Annual Awards Luncheon hosted by the New York Housing Conference (NYHC) and the National Housing Conference (NHC). This annual event, which honors those who have made New York a better place to live and work, is one of the largest gatherings of housing professionals in the nation – attracting more than 1,200 attendees each year.

As the keynote speaker, Secretary Donovan, formerly commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will not only help celebrate the success of this year’s honorees, but will also focus on responding to the foreclosure crisis, the future of HUD and more.

The 2009 Luncheon also marks the inauguration of the Clara Fox Award for Outstanding Achievement. Named in honor of the legendary founder of NYHC, this first annual award will be bestowed upon Felice Michetti, who is the CEO of Grenadier Realty, one of the city’s largest private owners and managers of affordable housing. As HPD Commissioner during the Dinkins Administration, she is widely credited with implementing many of the housing development goals set by Mayor Dinkins’ predecessor, Edward I. Koch.

Additional award recipients include:
  • Nonprofit Housing Developer of the Year: Adam Weinstein, president and CEO, Phipps Houses;
  • Private Housing Developer of the Year: BFC Partners; and
  • Public Service Award co-recipients Priscilla Almodovar, former president and CEO, nyhomes, and Deborah Van Amerongen, commissioner, New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
Please join us in honoring this year's award recipients, which have each played an integral role in helping ensure that New Yorkers have the opportunity to live in a decent, affordable rental or owned home in a suitable neighborhood.

For more information about this year's event, and to purchase tickets, please visit: NYHC and NHC 36th Annual Awards Luncheon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Part II of II - Guest Blogger Nick Autorina: Maxims for Strategic and Successful NSP Implementation

Yesterday, "Open House" introduced you to seven of fourteen principles developed by Nick Autorina, managing director, Cobb County, Georgia CDBG Program Office, for helping to successfully implement a plan under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Today, we explore the remaining seven maxims, which are listed below.
  • When developing your business model, focus on the eligible activities under the NSP that are relevant to your jurisdiction! This eliminates unnecessary risk and prevents jurisdictions from wasting valuable time on activities that are not aligned with their business model or the expertise of their staff.
  • Understand the “dimension of the problem”: As a practitioner, realize that the NSP is fraught with peril because so many factors can impact the success of your program. From understanding the public policy side of the NSP, to ensuring your jurisdiction (both politically and the general public at-large) are educated on the goals and objectives of the program to understanding the underlying factors that can negatively impact your program such as: the continuing decline of the economy, lack of available credit (for potential homebuyers), competition for acquiring potential properties from private developers, or able inventory in your jurisdiction that is simply not congruent with your business model.
  • Understand risk. How will your business model “insulate” your jurisdiction in the event you cannot move your “acquired properties” to potential homebuyers? Does the jurisdiction assume the risk? Can they? Considering the economic plight most local and state governments are in at this time, does the reward justify the risk?
  • Have a relevant grasp of “supply and demand” as it relates to your existing housing inventory and your business model. For example, in Cobb County, we manage the “supply”-side by allowing our Asset Management Firm [AMF] to “hold” no more than five properties at anyone time. To minimize risk, we ensure the “demand”-side is always five to 10 times greater than the supply-side to allow more “potential” home-owner clients having a legitimate interest in our program and to allow those to get the requisite HUD counseling and get financially “prequalified” through a legitimate lending institution. This accomplishes two important concepts. It does not put “stress” on the AMF financially by forcing them to “carry” properties for an inordinate length of time and by “generating” a “surplus” of interest applicants, ensures that adequate qualified applicants have a portfolio of homes to choose from that understand the “value” in the program and the competitive advantage NSP has over a typical private-sector real estate transaction.
  • When designing your business model, ensure each step has complete “transparency” and an “arms-length” transaction. For instance, in Cobb County, Requests for Proposals were utilized for the Asset Management Finn [AMF], Appraiser, and Real-Estate Attorney. The inspection services are being provided “in-house” by the County. Each aspect of the program reports directly to the NSP Office and by doing this, ensures adequate controls are instituted at each level of every transaction that occurs.
  • Have an exit strategy. Understand that the market will dictate a large portion of the success and failure of the NSP. Have readily achievable goals and objectives that are analyzed quarterly. Be flexible in your thinking so your business model can adapt to the market! The only way to achieve this is by being proactive and responsive to the volatility that potentially exists in the current economic climate.
Nick Autorina was a guest speaker at the Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, hosted by NHC and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, this past June, where he presented on this topic. He is also chairman of the Community Development Committee for the National Association of County and Community Economic Development.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Part I of II - Guest Blogger Nick Autorina: Maxims for Strategic and Successful NSP Implementation

Nick Autorina, managing director, Cobb County, Georgia CDBG Program Office, has originated 14 maxims for successfully implementing a strategy under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Part one of this two-part guest blog feature includes one through seven of these key points. Tomorrow, "Open House" will feature the remaining maxims highlighting additional ways communities can manage NSP funds to rehabilitate neighborhoods.

Maxims for Building a Successful NSP Strategy:
  • Understand the “spirit and the intent” of the NSP law as it's written. As a jurisdiction, can you determine the causal connection between the regulations and your market's foreclosure situation?
  • Do you have the requisite, “in-house” capacity to handle this program?Once you established the causal connection, does your “Business Model” take into consideration the unique characteristics of your housing market? If you do not possess the capacity, determine the type of staff you want to hire to manage your program.
  • Real Estate Professionals are in abundance right now. Take advantage of this resource to help manage this process. They understand the market dynamics, are adept at strategic marketing, and have “built-in” relationships with lenders and have a better grasp of the “inertia” that typically exists in the housing market.
  • Have a relevant marketing strategy. Once the basis for the program is established for your jurisdiction, target those population segments for direct marketing efforts. This is a critical element every jurisdiction needs to be mindful of. If you treat the NSP funding like a typical federal grant, you will get overwhelmed. Because of this complexity and compressed time frames for implementation, jurisdictions must be flexible, aggressive, and sensitive to the markets in which they operate. This cannot be stressed enough!
  • Prepare and analyze financial models that are relevant to your housing market. Know what the market can “bear” and thoroughly understand the layering that will constitute each deal. Have parameters instituted that will allow your staff to quickly analyze a potential acquisition to see if it is financially viable.
  • When you factor in developer's fees, real-estate fees, closing costs, attorney fees, rehab costs, etc., you quickly realize that the “discounted” acquisition price will diminish once all fees are built-in for the final sales price.
Nick Autorina was a guest speaker at the Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, hosted by NHC and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, this past June, where he presented on this topic. He is also chairman of the Community Development Committee for the National Association of County and Community Economic Development.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bank of America Passes $1 Billion Mark in Loans and Investments to CDFIs As Part of Larger 10-Year, $1.5 Trillion Goal

Last Tuesday, Bank of America announced it had exceeded the $1 billion mark in loans and investments to more than 120 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in 37 states. CDFIs are local institutions, such as credit unions, investment funds and niche banks, that focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Bank of America's work with CDFIs is part of its 10-year, $1.5 trillion community development lending and investing goal – the largest ever established by a U.S. financial institution, which began in 2009 and is focused on affordable housing, small business/farm lending, consumer lending and economic development.

The impact of these investments and loans is tremendous. According to Opportunity Finance Network, CDFIs have provided more than $30 billion in capital to underserved communities. Annually, this financing assists more than 9,000 small businesses, 57,000 affordable housing units, and almost 700 new community facilities, including schools, child care centers and health care facilities, and helps create more than 34,000 jobs.