CCLF'S E-NEWSLETTER OF COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, ISSUES & FEATURES
CCLF and WHPFCDC Receive
Partners in Progress Grant for Year 2
Partners in Progress announced a new year of funding to
Chicago Community Loan Fund and West Humboldt Park
Family and Community Development Council (WHPFCDC). CCLF and WHPFCDC
will receive $125,000 to serve as co-quarterbacks to begin implementation of a
5-year plan to revitalize an 8-block stretch of West Chicago Avenue in Chicago's
West Humboldt Park community called West Chicago Avenue Rebuild
(WCAR). On the commercial corridor building vacancy hovers at roughly 25%, while
over 40% of the buildings are in a deteriorated state. Crime and high
unemployment also plague the area.
Collectively, CCLF and WHPFCDC
have been committed to building communities that provide their residents with
quality and convenient housing, schools, healthcare, public transportation,
recreational facilities and social services; safe and attractive streets; and
high quality goods and services for 45 years. In year one, West Chicago Avenue
Rebuild brought many community partners together through a year-long planning
process to leverage existing and new data and partner activities to create a
comprehensive, 5-year action plan. This plan has specific action items for years
one and two of the Catalyst Phase and for years three through five for
the Growth Phase. The plan includes:
Improvements - Landscape Enhancements & Small-scale Placemaking - Pedestrian
Amenities & Roadway Improvement - Building Renovations - Creation of Retail
Nodes - Expanding the Brand - Temporary Public Spaces - Participation Strategy
for Opportunity Youth.
CCLF uses the quarterback model,
which integrates many sectors of the community. We use data and local input to
understand what is not working and what needs to be done to attract homeowners,
businesses and other neighborhood amenities such as safe parks, clean streets
and sidewalks and access to goods and services.
"With these grant funds along
with our co-quarterback and many community partners, we will be able to
undertake place-making improvements and programming to make the corridor
attractive to new retailers and enable existing owners to attract more customers
while moving forward to add healthier food options, local jobs, safe open spaces
and much more," stated Calvin Holmes, CCLF President.
In 2014, the Citi Foundation and
the Low Income Investment Fund launched the Partners in Progress initiative to
advance economic progress in low-income communities. With this continuation of
the program, Partners in Progress has become a national laboratory for creating
"collective impact" to address intergenerational poverty at the neighborhood
level. Learn more about the Partners in Progress program here.
CDFI Chase Collaborative Turning
Foreclosures into Affordable Housing
Washington was left with her husband's real estate business after he passed away
and was not sure what she wanted to do with it. She used the skills from her
finance degree to quickly assess that shelters can be very difficult to sustain
children to support, Takeisha is the owner and operator of RPT Development. Her
small company secures properties and restores them as rental apartments for low
income residents. She had turned two properties around and was renting them to
Chicago Housing Authority residents under their voucher program. She wanted to
find a way to expand this effort.
A two unit
foreclosed property located at 2236 W. Monroe in Chicago stood idle for six
years and was marked by the Red X Program as unsafe to enter.
Chase CDFI Collaborative Program was just what Takeisha needed. Chicago
Community Loan Fund, along with Neighborhood Lending Services and Community
Investment Corporation, were funded by this effort to provide financing and
technical assistance in Chicago's most distressed communities. All three
agencies are Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) charged by the
U.S. Treasury to provide responsible financing in low income neighborhoods. The
Chase CDFI Collaborative provided the opportunity for all three organizations to
pool their unique expertise and resources together to help companies like RPT
Development in targeted communities.
out to CCLF and was provided with a $190,000 loan for construction of the two
unit property. CCLF's role in the Chase CDFI Collaborative is to finance
redevelopment of 1-4 unit residential properties for rental housing and to
provide technical assistance. The Chase CDFI Collaborative is providing access
to capital largely in the City of Chicago's designated Micro Market Recovery
Areas. These are areas suffering from high forecloses and require multiple
stakeholder investments for revitalization.
The Chase CDFI
Collaborative Program allows CCLF to take risks that will result in successful
outcomes. RPT Development is an example of one customer with a vision to help
others but with limited access to capital. The Chase CDFI Collaborative helped
leverage public and private funding to create affordable housing.
"I am so
grateful for the opportunity work with CCLF because they gave me an opportunity
to show what I can do. I am so thankful for that," - Takeisha Washington. Read more here.
Takeisha Washington, RPT Development, in a
freshly remodeled unit using CCLF financing made available by the JP Morgan
Chase CDFI Collaborative
Chosen for Men of Excellence Award
The Chicago Defender selected Calvin L. Holmes, President of Chicago
Community Loan Fund, for its prestigious Men of Excellence Award. The Chicago
Defender described the criteria for the award as:
"They are men bound by a personal code of ethics that demands
accountability and integrity. They are men who exercise self-control,
demonstrate personal strength and courage, and possess power as well as
grandeur. They are men who care more than others think is safe, dream more than
others think is practical, and expect more than others think possible." -
Chicago Defender Vol. 110 No. 37
Holmes joined a total of 50 men that were honored at the 8th Annual
Men of Excellence held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago's Crystal Ballroom, which
was filled to capacity. Each honoree was introduced to the audience in cotillion
fashion and presented with the award by Cheryl Mainor, President and Publisher
of the Chicago Defender. Elected officials, such as State Representative Emanuel
"Chris" Welch, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Alderman Willie
Cochran were also selected as Men of Excellence, as well as, corporate
executives, nonprofit leaders and media personalities. A Life Time Achievement
and Honorary Men of Excellence was given to Mr. Michael House, former publisher
of the Chicago Defender with more than four decades of work in print and
Lifting up the
good works of African American males is seldom seen in the media. The images of
black males in movies, on the evening news and in print lean toward sensational,
negative stereotypes. The Men of Excellence serve a valuable role in promoting
what powerful men are doing daily to improve the lives of others.
The CCLF staff
and board join the Chicago Defender in saluting Calvin Holmes and the other
honorees for their service to city, county and state of
for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is Now Open
Photo by Steve
The National Museum of
Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (NMPRAC) is the only self-standing cultural
institution in the nation devoted to showcasing Puerto Rican arts and historic
exhibitions year-round. The museum operates in the historic landmark Humboldt
Park Stables and Receptory, built in 1895. The Humboldt Park Receptory
Building and Stable is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is
identified as "red," the highest rating, in the Chicago Historic Resources
Survey. The unique Queen Anne architectural features of the former stables were
damaged in 2013 by Chicago's harsh winter, when the pipes burst, damaging
several rooms including the main exhibition space and the room where noted
landscape architect Jens Jensen's office was once located.
A total of four water breaks
caused the wooden floors to buckle and destroyed the HVAC system in the
facility, causing even more problems. NMPRAC had to close its doors to the
public and develop a plan for repairs that would meet the strict guidelines
required for its landmark designation. NMPRAC had confirmation of state funding
for remodeling, but those funds would not be released until the work was
completed. After seeking financing from commercial sources with no success,
NMPRAC turned to CCLF.
CCLF works with many nonprofit
organizations to provide them with a
Billy Ocasio, Executive Director, NMPRAC in
the Jens Jensen room that was rehabbed with CCLF's
community facility loan so that
they can deliver needed services and programs to low income individuals and
families. CCLF provided $750,000 in bridge financing to NMPRAC and worked as a
partner so they could open their doors to the public after being closed for
eight months. CCLF's loan was used to rehab the Jens Jensen office space, the
second floor exhibition space, repair the heating and ventilation and some
office rehab work.
now returned to the museum to celebrate the rich culture of Puerto Rico and
marvel at works of local artists, as well as artists from Puerto Rico. CCLF
remains a resource for nonprofit organizations providing high quality services
in the community. "The good thing about CCLF is they understand nonprofits and
are willing to work with them. They have the expertise and willingness to help
nonprofits," said Billy Ocacio, Executive Director of the National Museum of
Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
Thank You to Funders and
For their recent grants, CCLF
For their recent investment and renewal, CCLF thanks:
Sheila A. Brady and Suzanne L. La Fetra.
& Board News
Ginsberg, Portfolio Management Associate for CCLF, is a member of the
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago's Metro Board. The Metro Board is their
young professional volunteers helping to provide affordable housing to
homeowners. The Metro Board of is comprised of emerging civic and business
leaders who assist NHS by raising funds and awareness of NHS and its commitment
to affordable housing.
Credit Memos: CCLF Lends $6.7 Million in
the 1st Quarter
Blue Chair Capital, LLC
received a $107,000 mini-permanent loan to preserve two units of
affordable housing in the Greater Grand Crossing community area. This loan is
part of CCLF's Neighborhood Investor Lending Program. Thanks to
Coree Smith and Jason Fried of
Kirkland & Ellis LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
Inc received a $344,000 construction loan to rehab one unit of
affordable housing in the Humboldt Park community area. This loan is part of the
City of Chicago's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Development Corporation received a $2,500,000 construction loan to
rehab 25 units of affordable housing in the Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Greater
Crossings and Englewood community areas. This loan is part of CCLF's
Neighborhood Investor Lending Program. Thanks to James
Snyder of Winston & Strawn LLP for serving as
CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
Construction received a $390,000 construction loan to rehab one unit of
affordable housing in the Auburn Gresham community area. This loan is part of
the City of Chicago's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Corporation received $425,000 and $385,000 construction loans to rehab
two units of affordable housing in the Auburn Gresham community area. This loan
is part of the City of Chicago's Neighborhood Stabilization
R.M. Newton Development
Corporation received a $904,000 mini-permanent loan to complete
leasehold improvements and preserve 21 units of affordable housing in the
Woodlawn community area. Thanks to Kimberly A. Barton of
Chapman and Cutler LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this
LLC received $491,000, $571,000 and $486,000 construction loans to
rehab six units of affordable housing in the Woodlawn community area. These
loans are a part of the City of Chicago's Neighborhood Stabilization
Voice of the City
received a $65,000 construction loan for leasehold improvements to
their community arts center in the Logan Square community area. This loan is
part of the City of Chicago's Small Business Investment Fund.
Thanks to Laura Pinzur and Patrick Hardiman of
Winston & Strawn, LLP 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
9th Annual Housing
Cooperatives and Communities Gathering
Join CCLF for a free celebration of cooperation and
communities in Chicago on June 27. Whether you're part of an established housing
cooperative or exploring cooperative living as a homeownership option, we hope
that you'll join us for a day of learning, networking and good
June 27, 10 am-2:30 pm
Stone Soup Cooperative Ashland House, 4637 North
Workshops will focus on fairhousing, conflict resolution and marketing/recruitment.
There will also be open space sessions to discuss other subjects.
CCLF Host the African
American National Small Business Lenders Roundtable
Eugene Cornelius, Jr., Deputy Associate
Administrator for Field Operations at U.S. Small Business Administration; Donna
Gambrell, former CDFI Fund Director and Calvin L. Holmes, President of CCLF at
the African American National Small Business Lending Roundtable on March 11,
2015. The group was convened by Valley Economic Development Center and Walker
and Associates Consulting, LLC to have a discussion on increasing access to
capital for African American-owned small businesses. This discussion will serve
as an integral component to the national work paper that will focus on the state
of African American lending nationwide.
Chicago aldermen approved the new Affordable Requirements
Ordinance (ARO) this past March. The ordinance aims to make 10 to 20 percent of
the units in market-rate developments more affordable, and will apply to
developers seeking a zoning change, city financial assistance or city-owned
land. The City of Chicago has predicted the ARO will create 1,200 new units of
affordable housing and generate $90 million over the next five years that can be
used to build affordable housing. Read more here.
CCLF's Energy Efficiency
CCLF's Neighborhood Investor Lending Program now offers
customers an Energy Efficiency Loan Option with lower interest rates on
construction and mini-permanent loans, along with more flexibility in
loan-to-value and loan-to-cost financing. To learn more click here.
Takes Helm at Cook County Land Bank Authority
Rob Rose is the new Executive
Director of the Cook County Land Bank Authority after working three years at
Chicago Community Loan Fund. Rob was the COO and Executive Vice President of
Programs at CCLF and helped shepherd the exceptional growth the agency has
experienced over the past few years. His contributions to the CDFI industry
and to CCLF have been greatly appreciated.
"I'm truly thankful to have
worked for an organization as impressive, innovative and impactful as CCLF. This
was not an easy decision to make; the past three years have been very rewarding.
I've enjoyed working for CCLF, building/managing a very successful team
dedicated to making Chicagoland communities stronger and to delivering a quality
product. I'm grateful to have worked on a number of meaningful developments
while at CCLF, and I will miss my wonderful, talented and dedicated colleagues."
- Rob Rose
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