While raising capital to provide affordable housing opportunities is our core business, NASLEF member funds also actively provide value-added services to our partners in the industry. Many member funds serve vulnerable populations by investing resources into programs and activities that impact residents’ lives. Member funds have developed philanthropic affiliates and foundations that fund programs that assist residents socially, economically, and educationally.
Examples for 2019 from Member Funds include:
- Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC): MHIC operates a Charitable Contribution budget that starts at $25,000. MHIC also purchases MA Community Investment Tax Credits (CITC) each year, the proceeds of which go directly to eligible CDCs. In 2019 MHIC purchased over $310,000 in CITC’s.
- The CAHEC Foundation: As an affiliate of CAHEC, the CAHEC Foundation offers wellness and education initiatives to residents living in areas that CAHEC serves. In addition to CAHEC’s current menu of Community Investments grants, the CAHEC Foundation creates opportunities that go beyond affordable housing to help residents receive the critical resources they need to succeed. In 2018, CAHEC and the CAHEC Foundation granted $735,202.
- Merritt Community Capital Corporation: Merritt concentrates on funding educational research into affordable housing and supporting students who either lived in affordable housing or are interested in joining the industry post-graduation. In 2019, Merritt supported San Francisco State and Cal State Easy Bay with approximately $65,000.
- Cinnaire staff members developed and launched Cinnaire Cares in 2017 as a companywide 100 percent staff funded and driven charitable program. Cinnaire Cares provides an opportunity for staff members to directly support Cinnaire’s mission by contributing twice monthly to a fund established to benefit staff nominated charities. Since 2017, 25 community serving organizations across Cinnaire’s footprint have been awarded a total of more than $54,000. In addition to contributing to Cinnaire Cares, Cinnaire staff have unlimited paid time off to volunteer their time to serve non-profits and charities that align with their personal missions.
- Housing Vermont: HV Connections is a five-year imitative that Housing Vermont launched in January 2016 to enhance resident experiences and opportunities by connecting them with outside organizations, resources and activities. In 2019, HV Connections focused on food security and sustainability.
- In recognition of the significant impact community gardening has on community building and well-being, in 2019 HV Connections contracted with the Vermont Community Garden Network to provide coordination of gardening and social enrichment activities at 7 developments, 3 of which have never had gardens previously.
- The University of Vermont Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program provided cooking and nutrition classes to residents at two Housing Vermont sites. With an emphasis on nutritious cooking with limited financial resources, residents developed strategies for stretching their grocery dollars to purchase healthy foods and how to cook for even the pickiest of eaters.
- A resident-created food shelf at an apartment site in St. Johnsbury, VT nearly closed in 2018 before HV Connections was able to step in to provide enough funding to sustain the food shelf through 2021. The food shelf is 100% resident managed and provides convenient access and hours in a community room on site.
- St. Louis Equity Fund, Inc.: The St. Louis Equity Fund awarded for the second year $15,000 in grant funding for resident services programs in 2019. Grants of up to $2,500 were awarded to the Equity Fund’s 501(c)(3) non-profit managing and development partners who demonstrated a need for items and programs such as exercise equipment, computers, rent and utility assistance, home buyer education workshops and assistance with job training.
- Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH’s) philanthropic affiliate, the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, funds programs targeted to neighborhoods and residents where OCCH has investments in affordable housing. More than $24 million in grants to partners has been awarded since 2012. In 2019, more than $3 million was raised for activities such as summer camp for residents’ children, youth empowerment, senior engagement, and the Jerry Grier Scholarship program, which assists residents with post-secondary education.
Other funding includes:
- Providing homeownership grants
- Funding community programs
- Funding food banks
- Providing scholarship opportunities to residents
- Funding neighborhood development
- Providing funds for tutoring, computer classes, and summer camp for residents’ children
Member funds engage development and management partners by providing opportunities for training and education on a regular basis. Examples include:
- Holding annual affordable housing conferences with industry speakers
- Providing property management training
- Providing individualized training to partners
- Developing training on energy, construction, and asset management
- Providing compliance training to property managers
- Offering a training academy to partners which provides property management and maintenance courses
Member funds recognize that importance of providing technical assistance to partners navigating HUD and Housing Finance Agencies programs. Assistance is given in:
- Understanding and usage of HOME funds
- HUD Section 8 regulations
- Development consulting
- Understanding RAD and mixed-finance funding
- Rural development assistance
- Housing agency programs and funding
Member funds are actively involved in state and federal housing policy issues, engaging lobbyists, and serving on:
- Local housing councils and agencies
- Boards and executive committees of housing trade associations
- Legislative Advocacy groups
Member funds focus on raising capital and providing equity for affordable housing development and preservation. Many funds also offer loan products or operate a Certified Development Financial Institutions Program that offers:
- Predevelopment and acquisitions lending products
- Bridge loan financing
- Gap financing
- Construction loan financing
- Permanent financing
- New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC’s)