News from CRF

September 27, 2017

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, Issues $100 Million in Bonds under the CDFI Fund Bond Guarantee Program

Program's first issuance designed to finance and refinance residential home mortgages for low-income families

MINNEAPOLIS - September 27, 2017 - Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), issued a $100 million bond on behalf of Aura Mortgage Advisors, LLC (Aura). Aura is an affiliate of Boston Community Capital and part of its Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) Initiative. Aura will use bond proceeds to help low-income families facing foreclosure repurchase their homes with fixed rate mortgages they can afford, stabilizing families and communities in Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

"The housing foreclosure crisis disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color, and many of these communities have yet to recover," said Elyse D. Cherry, CEO of Boston Community Capital and President of Aura. "We are grateful to the teams at CRF and the CDFI Fund Bond Guarantee Program for their pioneering work and unwavering commitment to making this long-term, low cost capital accessible to provide these communities with lasting relief."

For the first time in the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program's history, a private foundation, The Kresge Foundation, provided a guarantee in support of an Eligible CDFI's Bond Loan application, demonstrating a strong collaboration between the public and private sector. "Solving complex social programs, like the impact of foreclosures on communities, requires innovation and collaboration between public, private and community partners," said Joe Evans, portfolio manager at The Kresge Foundation. "Our impact investment in Aura allows us to use the foundation's non-grant resources - a guarantee, in this case - to support sustainable outcomes that are core to expanding opportunity for low-income people." The Kresge Foundation has a $350 million commitment to social investing through 2020, including $150 million in guarantees.

"CRF's goal is to support mission-driven organizations to transform the flow of capital to communities and individuals across the country, said Frank Altman, CRF's president and chief executive officer. "We are thrilled to collaborate with Aura to access long-term, fixed-rate capital that will increase impact in underserved markets."

About CDFI Bond Guarantee Program
The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program was established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which directed Treasury to, among other things, guarantee the full amount of bonds issued to support CDFIs that make investments for eligible community and economic development purposes. Those purposes include financing for small businesses, rural infrastructure, day care centers, rental housing, healthcare facilities, senior living and long-term care facilities, charter schools, and commercial real estate in low-income or underserved rural areas, among others.

Boston Community Capital and Aura Mortgage Advisors:
Boston Community Capital (BCC) is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. Since 1985, BCC has invested close to $1.4 billion in projects that provide affordable housing, good jobs, and new opportunities in low-income communities, connecting these neighborhoods to the mainstream economy; its investments have leveraged over $7 billion in public and private investment in underserved communities nationwide. BCC affiliate Aura Mortgage Advisors, LLC (Aura) is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a licensed Mortgage Lender (NMLS #23467) dedicated to helping people understand the mortgage process and own a home they can afford. For more information about BCC and Aura, visit http://bostoncommunitycapital.org/programs-services/sun-initiative or www.sunhomehelp.org.

About Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2016, the Board of Trustees approved 474 grants totaling $141.5 million, and made 14 social investment commitments totaling $50.8 million. For more information, visit www.kresge.org.

About Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF)
Founded in 1988, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to empower people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities through innovative financial solutions. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CRF develops products and services aimed at increasing the flow of capital to historically underinvested communities across the country. CRF has injected more than $2.1 billion to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities.  For more information, visit www.crfusa.com.

About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $40 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $525 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. Learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs at http://www.cdfifund.gov.

press release

Posted by: CRFUSA

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July 31, 2017

Entrepreneurs can receive a grant of up to $5,000 through the Pathway to Success Small Business Grant Program

We're looking for Twin Cities-based small businesses that are making a lasting impact on their employees, customers, and neighbors.

Minneapolis, MN - (July 31, 2017) Twin Cities entrepreneurs have an opportunity to win one of three grants (one $5,000 grant and two $2,500 grants) for their small business by applying through the Pathway to Success Small Business Grant Program sponsored by the Pathway to Success Small Business Collaborative. The funds for the program were made possible by the Wells Fargo Foundation.


A panel of three judges, all economic development practitioners, will be selecting the final grantees.

The Details
- To be eligible, a business must be a for-profit small business located within the city limits of Saint Paul or Minneapolis that has been in continuous operation selling a product or service for no less than one year and has an annual revenue of less than $200,000.
- Small business owners can fill out a simple form online or download the grant application and submit the completed application to lance@crfusa.com, by August 31, 2017, 11:59 pm Central time.
- The evaluation period is September 1 to October 22, 2017.
- Grantees will be announced on October 23, 2017, and will be notified by the contact information provided within the application.
- Grantees will be invited to attend an event hosted by the Pathway to Success Collaborative in late 2017.

Selection of Grantees
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- A clear, compelling, and engaging business story
- The ability and focus of the business to create positive community impact
- A strategic use of grant proceeds

About Pathway to Success Small Business Collaborative
The Pathway to Success Small Business Collaborative is made up of Wells Fargo, Saint Paul NAACP, and Connect2Capital with non-financial support provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Its mission is to support small business owners and connect them with organizations, systems, and processes that support small business development. The collaborative operates on the belief that sound information and development services are vital to business sustainability.

About Connect2Capital
Connect2Capital is an online small business lending platform, powered by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. Connect2Capital was developed in response to the rapid growth of online lenders who offer quick and easy access to high-interest rate, short-term loans that are typically paid back by deducting a fixed amount or a percentage of sales directly from the borrower's bank account until the funds, fees, and interest are repaid. Connect2Capital provides small business loans ranging from $50,000 - $4 million. For more information, visit www.connect2capital.com.

Full press release

Posted by: CRFUSA

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March 17, 2017

CRF Says President Trump's Budget Will Harm Efforts to Bring Jobs, Economic Growth and Opportunity

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - March 17, 2017 - Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) President and CEO Frank Altman released the following statement in response to President Trump's proposed 2018 budget, which would all but eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, cutting $210 million in funding.

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is disappointed to learn that the President's Budget Blueprint recommends all but eliminating the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This innovative agency offers a unique and effective set of tools - the New Markets Tax Credit, Bond Guarantee, and Financial and Technical Assistance programs - that our industry uses to rebuild distressed inner-city neighborhoods and rural communities.

This decision works against the President's agenda of bringing jobs, economic growth and opportunity to the communities and people he pledged to help in his campaign. In 2016 alone, CDFIs Fund awards supported the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, financed more than 11,000 businesses, and supported the creation of 33,000 affordable housing units.

Since 1988, CRF has delivered more than $2.2 billion in loans, investments and bonds, to finance small businesses, community facilities and affordable housing, to more than 900 communities across the country. This has meant more than 1.7 million lives improved, 2,600 small businesses helped, 19,000 affordable housing units preserved or created, and 79,000 jobs saved or created. Central to our success has been our ability to attract significant private sector capital by leveraging a small amount of CDFI fund resources. In fact, as an industry, CDFIs leverage twelve dollars in private sector capital for every dollar of federal support.

We will work with our CDFI partners and Congress to restore resources for this vital agency that empowers CRF, and other CDFIs, and allows us to attract and leverage private investor funds to finance borrowers lacking access to capital and restore hope in communities left out of the economic mainstream.

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About Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF)
Founded in 1988, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to empower people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities through innovative financial solutions. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CRF develops products and services aimed at increasing the flow of capital to historically underinvested communities across the country. CRF has injected more than $2.2 billion to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities.  For more information, visit www.crfusa.com.

press release

Posted by: CRFUSA

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