Organization Name: Community Preservation Corporation
Project Title: ACCESS
Project Location: Statewide
Many of the communities CPC serves are neighborhoods occupied primarily by people of color, where opportunities for housing, education, healthcare and economic prosperity have historically been limited by institutional racism. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, these barriers exacerbated the pandemic’s effects, with many underserved communities experiencing significantly higher rates of income loss and employment instability, and infection, illness and mortality. While we believe that providing access to safe, affordable housing has helped to create stronger communities, we recognize that this is not enough to solve the problems associated with institutional racism that have existed in our country for hundreds of years. CPC’s new ACCESS initiative was born out of conversations within the company, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Black Lives Matter and social justice movements, about how CPC could go beyond its traditional lending work to create more equity and opportunity in the communities it serves. The $20 million ACCESS initiative will empower Black and minority entrepreneurs in the development industry and invest in projects that bring high quality housing to communities of color
ACCESS was created with the explicit goal of empowering Black and minority entrepreneurs by providing funding, education and other resources to build their capacity to compete in the development industry, while targeting projects that bring high quality housing to communities of color. Supporting the growth of minority-owned business can help catalyze economic opportunity in the neighborhoods in which these entrepreneurs work, live, and build.
The initative's funding will be strategically allocated to address barriers to entry disproportionately experienced by people of color. This includes:
· capacity building programs such as borrower training and financial literacy that helps first time entrepreneurs navigate the development process;
· subordinate soft debt and recoverable grants to fill gaps where subsidies are unavailable or limited;
· predevelopment and acquisition loans that enable those with lower upfront capital to compete in the market;
· construction and permanent debt capital for projects smaller than those usually financed with conventional CPC products; and
· equity in initiatives and alternative financing vehicles for partners in targeted communities.
Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. The company, which currently carries a AA- issuer rating from S&P Global, provides a full suite of capital products through its construction lending, Agency lending, and equity investing platforms. Since inception, CPC has provided more than $11.5 billion to finance more than 200,000 units of housing. Visit CPC at communityp.com.
Lawrence Hammond, Senior Vice President, Director of ACCESS. Wilhelmena Norman-Hernandez, Assistant Vice President, Manager of Community Impact for ACCESS