CDFIs in the News: Latino Economic Development Center featured on NPR

For Baltimore Businesses, Aid For Riot Repair Is Not Coming Fast Enough

Baltimore CDFI Roundtable member Latino Economic Development Center was featured in a NPR segment for its small business recovery efforts in Baltimore.

It took only minutes for stores in Baltimore to be destroyed on the night of April 27. But six weeks later, the repair process is still limping along. And stores not directly affected by the violence say they’ve also seen a sharp decline in business.

“Look outside, there’s nobody,” says Pedro Silva, owner of Carolina’s Tex-Mex Restaurant in Fells Point, a usually busy tourist spot. “Before, we used to be no parking space. Now it’s empty. It’s empty — day, night.”

Silva says that since the riots, business at the restaurant has been cut in half. At lunchtime last week, the place was almost empty, as Silva sat with a lending officer from the nonprofit Latino Economic Development Center, to get a $5,000 loan to cover some bills.

Nearly 400 businesses throughout Baltimore were damaged during riots after the death of Freddie Gray. The city, state and federal governments have offered millions of dollars in aid. But very little has gone out so far, despite broad agreement that getting these businesses back on their feet is crucial for the city’s recovery.

Listen to the radio segment here: For Baltimore Businesses, Aid For Riot Repair Is Not Coming Fast Enough.

CDFIs in the News: Harbor Bank of Maryland

Five Questions for Joseph Haskins, Jr., head of Harbor Bank

Joseph Haskins, Jr., head of Harbor Bank and one of its founders thirty years ago, was interviewed by The Baltimore Sun in February. Harbor Bank is a minority-owned CDFI bank and one of only twenty-three African-American owned banks in the country. In this article Mr. Haskins describes the roles of Harbor Bank as a bank, a nonprofit community development corporation, as well as a for-profit community development entity. These multiple structures provide the bank with the opportunity to serve Baltimore communities in a variety of ways.

An excerpt from his interview describing the value that Harbor Bank brings to Baltimore:

Harbor Bank continues to focus on providing the financial products and services necessary for our customers to thrive. Our specialty is lending to small and mid-size businesses. We also place an emphasis on residential mortgages and offer incredible rates to those with excellent credit and equity on both the residential mortgage and commercial lending sides. We provide the tools that many only associate with large multi-national banks.

One subsidiary continues to focus on New Market Tax Credits, while the non-profit subsidiary focuses on lending to other community-based projects. The $2 billion East Baltimore Development Inc. project is an example of our work. Harbor Bankshares Corp., through its three subsidiaries, has played a significant financial role in EBDI, financing science buildings and the East Baltimore Community School.

Read the full article here: Five Questions for Joseph Haskins, Jr., head of Harbor Bank

City First Bank of DC

Getting to Know the Baltimore CDFIs
This is the fourth in a series of posts to hear from CDFIs about their work in Baltimore.


City First Bank of DC
www.cityfirstbank.com

Chi Perrus, Senior Vice President and Tabitha Atkins, VP of Community Development

Type of Lending:
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Commercial Lending for affordable housing, community facilities, commercial real estate, and small businesses

What is a Baltimore project that highlights the work of your CDFI?

American Brewery (East Baltimore)

City First provided $14 million in NMTC financing to Humanim, a major Maryland statewide social service provider, to purchase and renovate a 121 year old brewery in east Baltimore, the former American Brewery. As typical in most NMTC deals, the multi-layered financing included grants from government and charitable sources, historic tax credit equity combined with new market tax credit equity, and a committed and determined borrower. Bank of America, the National Trust and the City of Baltimore were partners in this transaction. Humanim provides a range of social services to disadvantaged and disabled individuals and their families throughout Maryland, including the DC suburbs of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Most of its staff of 250 will be centralized from multiple locations to the American Brewery building, helping to create economic impact in a highly distressed neighborhood. In addition, it is anticipated that this project will create 60 new jobs and allow Humanim to serve 850 children and adults each year. The rehabilitation of this building is a cornerstone of a $1.8 billion plan to redevelop the east Baltimore community.

In your own words, how do you think City First Bank and other CDFIs are contributing to Baltimore’s community development?

CDFIs are working collaboratively by leveraging their respective talents and financial resources to invest in projects that are creating demonstrable impacts in the City of Baltimore. In order to finance larger-scale projects, CDFIs are engaging in co-lending opportunities, providing technical assistance, and creating a referral network to get capital on the ground.

How to apply for a loan:

  • Call a loan officer: (202) 243-7120

Interested in partnering with my organization or learning more?

CDFIs in the News: NHS of Baltimore

First-time Buyers Taking to the City

A client of Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore was featured in an article about first-time homebuyers in the Baltimore area. While first-time homebuyers are at their lowest percentage in 27 years nationally, Baltimore City realtors are seeing plenty of first-time home buyers – attributing it to the city’s affordability, walkability, proximity to DC, and home-buying incentives offered to cultivate stable neighborhoods.

Darlene Powers of Baltimore County hopes to buy for the first time in her life — at 58 years old.

“I would like to own a little family townhouse, porch, two bedrooms,” said Powers, who has raised four children, all grown now, but never owned her own place. She’s been a custodian at county senior centers for four years, and since the summer has been working with a counselor at Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore to raise her credit score so she can qualify for a mortgage.

Her credit score is “low,” she said, but declined to give the number. She said she has some old debt, mostly from medical bills, that she hopes to pay off in the next month or so. Then she expects to start looking for a place, probably in the county.

She’s been working with Kareema Pinder at Neighborhood Housing, who said the agency has been busy working with people trying to buy their first house, mostly in the city. She’s seen no slowdown in first-time homebuyers.

Read the full article here: First-time Buyers Taking to the City.

The Reinvestment Fund

Getting to Know the Baltimore CDFIs
This is the third in a series of posts to hear from CDFIs about their work in Baltimore.


The Reinvestment Fund
www.trfund.com

Dana Johnson, Vice President and Market Leader for Maryland and Washington, DC

Type of Lending:
The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization, has invested $1.4 billion communities since 1985. TRF finances housing, community facilities including schools and health centers, supermarkets, commercial real estate and energy efficiency projects. It also provides public policy expertise by helping clients create actionable solutions and by sharing data and analysis via www.PolicyMap.com.

What is a Baltimore project that highlights the work of your CDFI?
The new ShopRite of Howard Park is a great example of TRF’s work. The project involved strong community input, a variety of federal resources that TRF was able to bring to the financing, and strong collaboration with other CDFIs and financial institutions.

In August 2014, the West Baltimore neighborhood of Howard Park received a much needed 68,000 square foot supermarket. The supermarket is a joint venture by two seasoned ShopRite operators, Jeff Brown and the Klein family. The partnership combines the Klein family’s 90 year background of owning and operating stores in suburban Maryland and Jeff Brown’s experience in running urban-based stores in the Philadelphia region. The project also stands as an example of a successful partnership involving Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), the Howard Park Civic Association, Calvin Rodwell Elementary School’s Child First after school program, Klein Family Markets, UpLift Solutions, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), City First Bank, JPMorgan Chase and TRF.

The Howard Park neighborhood had been without a grocery store for over a decade and was a USDA Food Desert and a TRF Limited Supermarket Access area.

In your own words, how do you think The Reinvestment Fund and other CDFIs are contributing to Baltimore’s community development?
TRF provides access to capital for communities and borrowers that are often underserved by traditional financial institutions.  Along with that capital, we bring strong expertise in a wide variety of financing tools and strong research and policy analysis capacity that has become a highly regarded source of unbiased information for public officials and private investors.

How to apply for a loan:

  • Online application
  • Call a loan officer: (410) 783 -1110

Interested in partnering with my organization or learning more?

Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore

Getting to Know the Baltimore CDFIs
This is the second in a series of posts to hear from CDFIs about their work in Baltimore.


Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore
www.nhsbaltimore.org

Dan Ellis, Executive Director

Type of Lending: Rehab Loans, Small Dollar Consumer Loans, City Bill Loans

What is a Baltimore project that highlights the work of your CDFI?
CityLIFT has been the most high profile undertaking that NHS has been involved in recently.  We lend $4.5million dollars in down payment loans to Baltimore home buyers. The funds were granted to NHS as a result of a settlement against Wells Fargo. The demand for these loans was huge. The program had the effect of stimulating the market the year that we had it. We are looking to start another down payment loan aimed at helping borrowers avoid private mortgage insurance in the first quarter of next year. NHS educated 1,000 homebuyers in 2014. This will be the pipeline of borrowers that we will market to.

In your own words, how do you think NHS of Baltimore and other CDFIs are contributing to Baltimore’s community development?
Baltimore’s CDFIs are very diverse. It is hard to measure the impact of what we all do. NHS partners with other CDFIs to offer products to home buyers. We hope to expand partnerships to community development credit unions collaborating on loan products for our customers in the years to come.

How to apply for a loan:

  • Online application
  • Call a loan officer: (410) 327 -1200

Interested in partnering with my organization or learning more?

Baltimore Community Lending

Getting to Know the Baltimore CDFIs
This is the first in a series of posts to hear from CDFIs about their work in Baltimore.


Baltimore Community Lending
www.bclending.org

Bill Ariano, President and CEO

Type of Lending: Primarily a housing lender to for-profit and non-profit developers. Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) also lends for commercial real estate, and community facilities.

What is a Baltimore project that highlights the work of your CDFI?
We are proud of many of our projects throughout the City and our 25 year history. Some representative properties are:

BCL

We work to make projects happen and make sure each fits our mission to do projects that revitalize or strengthen underserved neighborhoods.

In your own words, how do you think BCL and other CDFIs are contributing to Baltimore’s community development?
BCL and other CDFIs do projects in underserved neighborhoods that seek to revitalize and stabilize them by financing affordable housing, community facilities, small businesses, as well as businesses in neighborhood commercial districts. These projects are often difficult or catalyst projects that may need extra effort and creative financing to help them succeed.

How to apply for a loan:

  • Online application
  • Call a loan officer: (410) 727 -8590 Ext. 723 or 725
  • Attend a training

Interested in partnering with my organization or learning more?

Latino Economic Development Corporation Expands in Baltimore by Opening Office

DC-based Latino Economic Development Corporation has opened an office in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood. This expansion was marked with an official opening earlier this summer.

The satellite office—located on Eastern Avenue in space donated by the Southeast Community Development Corporation—will provide additional support and tools to existing and potential immigrant business owners in Baltimore City, including micro-loans, technical assistance, and training.

“Research shows that entrepreneurship is quite prevalent in the immigrant community,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Developing the necessary tools to ensure immigrants have access to entrepreneurial opportunities is vital in making Baltimore a welcoming city. LEDC’s business services will be essential to creating a prosperous environment for immigrant and other minority business owners by providing them with capital, and the advisory and technical assistance needed to reach their full potential.”

Read more about the expansion into Baltimore at:

Baltimore Sun Article

Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Announcement

LEDC Press Release