CCLF'S E-NEWSLETTER OF COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, ISSUES & FEATURES
87 Year Old
Grandmother Inspires Two New Investments in CCLF
Joan Berry, President of EJM
became a new individual investor in Chicago Community Loan
Fund in 2014 after reading
an article on Irene Ginger. Ms. Ginger is an 87 year old investor in CCLF that
decided a long time ago she was interested in socially-conscious investing. Ms.
Berry was a donor to CCLF for a number of years and heard about social investing
but thought it did not apply to her until she read about Ms. Ginger then she
thought, "why not me?"
In 2004, Ms. Berry became
President of EJM Engineering, Inc. a successful WBE/DBE
providing designs for public infrastructure with a focus on transportation
development. Some of her public works projects include the Wacker Drive
Reconstruction and Chicago Bus Rapid Transit
Implementation. With her strong background in city and state
infrastructure, Ms. Berry has seen extensive deterioration of certain
neighborhoods recognizing there is never enough investment in community
developments, "Fixing roads is just a small piece of what a community needs.
Roads without good schools, parks or homes will not solve the problem. All of
the pieces have to fit together for community development to work," she
CCLF provides access to
capital in low-income communities promising investors like Ms. Berry a social
return. This social return can be jobs for local youth, access to community
services or healthy foods, affordable housing and much more. One of the biggest
indicators of success in community development is the amount of funding that is
leveraged with one of CCLF's loans. On average for every dollar that CCLF
provides in financing, another $10 dollars is invested in our customers'
projects. Since its founding, CCLF has been able to leverage $1 billion in
additional public and private capital for community development. This was a
motivating factor for Ms. Berry. "Social investing is better than putting your
money in a mutual fund where you don't know how it is helping anyone. I am more
interested in the social impact than how much interest I can earn."
Ms. Berry wants CCLF to
continue on course to develop good projects that benefit Chicago's communities.
She chose CCLF for her first social investment because of the organization's
mission. "I admire CCLF's business model for developing communities. My past
support for this and other organizations has been in the form of donations. I
was intrigued by the concept of investing rather than donating. I have meant for
some time to invest in CCLF, and the time was right for me financially to do so.
It is good to have an investment option that also is achieving social
One of the things Ms. Berry
discovered was social investing was easy. She was surprised how simple it was to
pick up the phone and later fill out a few forms. CCLF lets the investor drive
the covenants and pays out interest per the agreed upon terms. Investing in CCLF
provides another vehicle for individuals that seek another option for their
investment income. Social investing is not only for insurance companies or
banks. Ms. Berry concluded, "It is great that CCLF provides individuals a way to
invest in its activities, rather than relying just on lending
Two Generations of CCLF Investors -
Kristin and Irene Ginger
Ginger was helping her 87 year old grandmother, Irene Ginger, make a
copy of a newsletter when she noticed her grandmother's photo in the CCLF
Community Blueprints newsletter. She read the article and asked her grandmother
why she was doing social investing. Kristin learned her grandmother initially
made an investment in CCLF in 1993 when her youngest son, Paul Ginger, was a
board member and has renewed that investment time after time.
Kristin started working in
the nonprofit sector after doing a year of service as an AmeriCorps Vista and
going to graduate school. She traveled in India, volunteered at an elephant
sanctuary, and worked with refugees. While at college, she was active in
Amnesty International and learned about divestment campaigns and developed a
more serious outlook on how one's investments can improve or hurt a society.
She is now the
Communications Coordinator with Women Employed, a not-for-profit
organization working to ensure women have good jobs, with fair wages, decent
benefits, respect, freedom from discrimination, and opportunities to advance.
Kristin was exposed to the concept of social investing using peer-to-peer
networks and micro lending. She even considered participating in online
platforms such as Kiva to make a loan to an entrepreneur across the globe. She
was not aware that she could do social investing right in her own backyard of
Chicago until she spoke to her grandmother.
"It made sense for me
because I really liked the fact that I was investing in my own community," said
Kristin. "This kind of investing pays me interest while improving the community
in which I live." Read more here.
To learn about making an
investment contact Jane Ames, Vice President of Finane at James@cclfchicago.org or
Elevate Energy Form Partnership
CCLF and Elevate Energy have become partners to help CCLF
customers save on energy consumption. CCLF is offering a new loan option for its
Neighborhood Investor Lending Program (NILP) customers which provides lower
rates to developers that follow recommendations provided by Elevate Energy.
designs and implements efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the
environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those that need
them most. They apply this triple bottom line approach at the household,
building, and community level and collectively they've helped over 45,000
families save more than $30 million on their energy bills. CCLF's new Energy
Efficiency Loan Option will target customers
providing 1-4 units of affordable housing and want to lower the cost of their
customers will complete an application for a free energy audit on Elevate
Energy's website. Elevate Energy will have an analyst conduct a full-service
assessment and recommend practical improvements that will save energy and water.
Technical assistance will be provided by CCLF and Elevate Energy educating
customers on financing options and grants that can help pay for building
improvements that save energy.
CCLF realizes that energy savings will ultimately reduce operating expenses, we
understand that some of these upfront retrofits carry additional costs. That is
why this Energy Efficiency Loan Option offers a lower interest rate
on construction and mini-permanent loans, along with more flexibility on
loan-to-value and loan-to-cost financing. To learn more click here.
Staff Share Expertise with National Audience
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was this
year's theme at the 30th Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) conference held in
Denver, Colorado October 14 - 17, 2014. This is the leading industry educational
opportunity for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). With 1,100
participants and 70 unique educational offerings, the conference provided skill
building, professional networking and examples of successful programs across the
country that were replicable models of social justice through access to capital
in low wealth communities.
Community Loan Fund had two members of the team serve as workshop presenters.
CCLF's Director of Lending Operations, Mark Fick, was part of -
Housing Finance Best Practices: This is How We Lend.
Mark shared with the audience the entire process from loan application to credit
committee approval and offered tips on how other CDFIs can conduct effective
underwriting without over burdening the staff and the volunteer loan committee.
Mark Fick, CCLF and co-panlist Connie Max,
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
President, Calvin L. Holmes, participated on two panels and moderated a workshop
on the history of the CDFI industry. CDFIs: Our Movement, Our
History was a standing room only workshop that delved into
challenges and victories of Community Development Financial Institutions. Calvin
moderated this session that celebrated 30 years of organizations such as Chicago
Community Loan Fund that has taken the risk time-and-time again to provide the
needed capital in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. OFN has put together
three short videos entitled, CDFIs Making History as part of the celebration.
Calvin is featured in the third video. To watch the videos click here.
Janice Bowdler, JPMorgan Chase Foundation,
Calvin L. Holmes, CCLF, Ceyl
Prinster, Colorado Enterprise
Fund; and Julie Gould, Mercy Loan Fund
shared how CCLF's collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
and Community Investment Corporation formed the Midwest JPMorgan Chase
CDFI Cluster Initiative. He highlighted the benefits of working with
other CDFIs and the larger impact it is having in the Chicago region. One key
takeaway was the increase in referrals between the organizations and
collaborative spirit to tackle community development issues in some of the
toughest areas in desperate need of revitalization.
served on a panel - Amplifying Impact: CDFIs and the Community
Quarterback Model - where CCLF is in partnership with West
Humboldt Park Development Council on an initiative to transform an eight block
corridor with new commercial retail, homeownership, affordable housing,
healthy food options and branding. This session focused on the Partners in
Progress grantees of Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF).
Each successful quarterback model is featured in video produced by Citi and LIIF
(see next article to watch CCLF's video).
the Video: Chicago Community Loan Fund & West Humboldt Park Family and
Community Development Council
Revitalizing The West Chicago Avenue
As co-quarterbacks, the Chicago
Community Loan Fund (CCLF) and the West Humboldt Park Family and Community
Development Council (WHPFCDC) are working to transform the West Chicago Avenue
corridor, a commercial strip about four miles from downtown Chicago. With their
partners, the two organizations are working to lower building vacancy rates and
bring in local businesses to neglected commercial space. CCLF and WHPFCDC are
exploring opportunities based on feedback from community residents who would
like to see healthy groceries, restaurants, and health services in their
neighborhood. The corridor has already attracted some new businesses, including
Turkey Chop, a sit-down restaurant offering healthy meals. On Mondays, Turkey
Chop serves as a neighborhood soup kitchen, feeding over 700 people weekly. Watch the video and share it
Thank You to Funders and
For their recent grants,
CCLF thanks, Bank of America Foundation, JPMorgan Chase
Foundation, MB Charitable Foundation, Polk Bros.
Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation and Wintrust Financial
their recent investments and renewals, CCLF
thanks Donna K. Altschuler, Joan Berry, Kristin Ginger and The
& Board News
New CCLF Board Member Jerome Byers,
Jerome Byers to its board of directors. Byers is
the Regional President of Consumer Banking
for the West Region of Citibank and also serves as the Chairman/CEO of Citicorp
Payment Services. Byers is directly
responsible for delivering financial performance, sales, service and operational
soundness for 550 Citibank branches in California, Texas, Illinois and Nevada
consisting of more than 4,800 Citigroup employees. Byers has over two decades of
experience in small business, retail and commercial banking.
CCLF also welcomes back
Angela Bennett as Controller. She worked in CCLF's
finance department as an associate four years ago then went on to obtain her CPA
and pursue an MBA while further developing her skills at CNA Financial
Corporation. As Controller, Angela is responsible for the accuracy of CCLF's
reported financial results overseeing cash receipting and posting
of payments, accounts payable and general ledger transactions.
She also coordinates the budget and audit and
compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. Bennett is a CPA with
a Bachelor of Accounting from Southern Illinois University and is currently
completing her MBA at DePaul University.
Love joined CCLF in August 2014 as a Loan Closing Officer. In
this position, she manages all aspects of the loan closing process
for the various customers she serves. Prior to CCLF, she held
several Paralegal positions where she worked with Counsel on various
acquisitions and complex real estate transactions. Shanna earned her Associate's
in Paralegal Studies from Northwestern College and a Bachelor's in Management
from Loyola University-Chicago with a minor in Communication.
Ames is a newly appointed member of the Financial Executives Research
Foundation (FERF)'s Development Committee, which is a Financial Executive
International research affiliate. It was founded in 1944 with a mission to
advance the profession and practices of financial management through research
and education. FERF publishes about 30 original research reports and articles
annually and receives national press and is referenced in professional
Fick is a newly appointed mentor for the new Good Food Business
Accelerator at 1871. 1871 is Chicago's entrepreneurial hub for digital
start-ups. Good Food Business Accelerator works to increase greater
access to sustainably produced vegetables, fruits, meat, and
CCLF Staff Angela Bennett, Shanna Love, Jane
Ames and Mark Fick
Credit Memos: CCLF Lends $6.46
Million in 3rd Quarter
Englewood Square, LP received a $500,000 predevelopment loan for a new five
acre, grocery anchored retail development located in Englewood. This loan is
part of CCLF's Healthy Foods Financing
Initiative. Thanks to David Bamlango of
DLA Piper for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
The Kwame Nkrumah
Academy, Inc received a $2,794,000 construction/mini-permanent
loan to upgrade the school's facilities and improve accessibility in Roseland.
Thanks to Ami Patel of Chapman Cutler LLP for
serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
7601 S. King Drive, LLC
received a $148,000 mini-permanent loan to stabilize 8 units of
affordable rental housing in Chatham. This loan is part of the Cook
County Preservation Compact. Thanks to Jessica Simon
of Paul Hastings for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
100 Orchard Drive LLC
(dba Country Squire Foods) received a $660,000 mini-permanent
loan to finance a grocery store in Park Forest, IL. This loan is part of CCLF's
Healthy Foods Financing Initiative. Thanks to Leigh
Waterman of DLA Piper for serving as CCLF's counsel on
International Charter School received a $1,300,000
construction/mini-permanent loan for building renovations and improved
accessibility in Grand Crossing. Thanks to Michael Wright of
Kirkland Ellis for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
received a $150,000 mini-permanent loan to finance repairs on 7
existing group homes in Suburban Cook and Lake Counties. Thanks to Mark
O'Meara and Ryan Bowen of Chapman & Cutler
LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
received a $325,000 mini-permanent loan to refinance 2 affordable
rental housing properties in Aurora, IL. Thanks to Jeff Gray of
Barnes & Thornburg for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
3525 S. King Drive, Inc.
received a $580,000 construction/mini-permanent loan to convert
an abandoned property into a law office for Barclay Law Group,
P.C.This loan is part of CCLF's Commercial Real Estate
Initiative. Thanks to Margaret Cahoon of
Kirkland Ellis for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
The mission of the Chicago Community Loan Fund is to provide
flexible, affordable and responsible financing and technical assistance for
community stabilization and development efforts and initiatives that benefit
low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, families and individuals throughout
Congratulations to Chet
Jackson, Executive Director of West Humboldt Park Development Council on
receiving the 2014 Neighborhood Housing Services' (NHS) Neighborhood Leadership
Award at their Annual Meeting. Chet is a CCLF borrower and co-quarterback in the
Partners and Progress initiative to transform an eight block stretch on West
Chicago Avenue between Kedzie and Central Park. NHS stated, "Chet shares NHS'
vision of neighborhood revitalization, seeing the connection between a safer,
more vibrant Chicago Avenue and attracting families to buy their first homes in
West Humboldt Park." To see the video on Chet click here. For a list of other
winners click here.
Chet Jackson, Executive Director, West
Humboldt Park Development Council. Photo by Steve
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
established the Affordable Housing Task Force consisting of community leaders
including CCLF President, Calvin Holmes, aldermen and developers to make
recommendations to reform the City's Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) and
add 1,000 affordable housing units over the next five years. This would
represent a fivefold increase over the 187 units created by the ARO since 2007
and ensure that more affordable housing options are offered in high growth
Passed into law 11 years
ago and last updated in 2010, the ARO requires new residential
developments that obtain
zoning changes, include City land, or receive financial assistance to set aside
affordable units or pay a per-unit in lieu fee. Developer payments are deposited
into the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, which supports the creation and
preservation of affordable rental housing and provides operating support for the
Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, a not-for-profit that provides rental
subsidies to very-low-income households. To learn more about the ordinance click
NHS Bids Farewell to
CCLF Board Member, Ed
Jacob, was acknowledged by Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago for
his commitment to strengthening families by providing services and programs that
allow them to live in affordable homes. Ed served as the Executive Director of
NHS Chicago for the past four years and led the expansion of the organizations
programs in the suburbs of Chicago. Ed has more than 30 years of community
development experience working in banking and a credit union prior to his time
at NHS. CCLF joins NHS in saluting Ed for his leadership at NHS and on the board
Ed Jacob was acknowledged at NHS's 40th
CCLF welcomes Kristin Faust
as the new President of NHS. She is a CCLF investor and has a passion for social
justice and strengthening Chicago Neighborhoods. Read more about Kristin here.
2014 Opportunity Finance
Network Conference in Denver Colorado
CCLF President, Calvin L. Holmes; Janis
Bowdler, Senior Program Director, JPMorgan Chase Foundation; Yvette Ruiz,
Community Relations Manager Office of Nonprofit Engagement and Sandy Fernandez,
Director of National Programs and Strategies for JPMorgan Chase and
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