PHILADELPHIA (WWJ) – A Detroit project is among three winners of $8.25 million from the Wells Fargo Next Awards for Opportunity Finance.
NCB Capital Impact was awarded $2.75 million to help its strategy to develop Detroit’s Woodward Corridor with housing, charter schools and other services.
Capital Impact’s effort will support the reclamation of abandoned properties and enable the development of 300 to 400 units of new, affordable housing and more than 20 small businesses, through $40 million of loan financing and $2 million of predevelopment financing over the next two to three years. The effort is expected to create more than 500 construction and permanent jobs.
The other awardees are the Opportunity Fund, the largest community development financial institution microlender in California, which got $3 million to expand its EasyPay small business loan that is repaid through daily credit and debit card sales, and the Housing Partnership Network of Bostin, which won $2.5 million to expand the first real estate investment trust launched by nonprofits to acquire and preserve affordable housing.
The Next Awards honor innovative community development financial institutions — community lenders that invest in opportunities that benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities.
“This year’s Next Awardees are finding solutions for communities that lack access to traditional financial products and services,” said Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network. “By expanding their affordable and responsible financial products, CDFIs such as these are creating opportunities where there are none today.”
Opportunity Finance Network, the national network of CDFIs, presents the Next Awards with support from Wells Fargo, The Kresge Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
“These lenders have developed replicable strategies to expand their products and/or geographic coverage in low-income communities throughout the U.S. Access to capital is critical to expanding opportunity, strengthening neighborhoods, and improving quality of life in our cities,” said Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. “These organizations are hugely important in filling that need.”
The CDFI industry will celebrate these awardees at OFN’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Oct. 16.
Launched in 2007, the Next Awards have celebrated the innovation of the nation’s most promising CDFIs by awarding more than $58 million over seven years.
It is the nation’s largest awards program for CDFIs and will award $8.35 million dollars through two award pools—The NEXT Opportunity Award and the NEXT Seed Capital Award—annually from 2012-2016 to high-performing CDFIs to expand their coverage strategies. Each year the NEXT Awards culminates in a ceremony at OFN’s Annual Conference to spotlight Awardees and the entire CDFI industry.