PHILADELPHIA--()--They’ve been called bold, visionary, and innovative for bringing financial services to some of the country’s most distressed communities. Today, they learned they have been awarded millions of dollars to expand their coverage.
“The expansion plans of these winning institutions means more communities will have access to their investment capital and business acumen, both of which are critical to bringing about positive, long-term social and economic change.”
This morning, Opportunity Finance Network announced the three recipients of the NEXT Opportunity Awards, a pool of $8.25 million. These innovative lenders—Primary Care Development Corporation, Clearinghouse CDFI, and Corporation for Supportive Housing—are top-performing Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that will use their awards to develop partnerships that increase CDFI coverage in underserved communities or bring new or more products to existing and/or expanded markets.
The NEXT Opportunity Award is made possible by the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance, the nation’s largest awards program for the CDFI industry. It recognizes innovative and high-impact CDFIs that bring needed financing to low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities across the U.S.
Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) of New York City will receive $4.25 million to expand its financing of community health centers and other primary care providers in impoverished communities beyond New York State. PCDC estimates that the projects it finances due to its Award will create 190 construction jobs, 285 permanent jobs, and will provide primary care services to 175,000 new patients over three years.
Clearinghouse CDFI of Lake Forest, CA will receive a $2 million award to expand into Nevada, a state hard-hit by unemployment and foreclosures. It plans to finance affordable housing, nonprofit organizations, and community redevelopment projects in Nevada, which currently lacks significant access to CDFI services. To date, Clearinghouse has worked almost exclusively in California. It expects the Award will help it create 100 new jobs a year and produce 700 affordable housing units over a three-year period.
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), headquartered in New York City, will receive $2 million to expand into 10 new markets across the country. The Award will enable CSH to provide financing and support to communities to increase the availability of supportive housing by building nearly 10,000 affordable housing units for homeless individuals and families, veterans, formerly incarcerated, and other very vulnerable people.
The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance are presented by Opportunity Finance Network with support from Wells Fargo, The Kresge Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
“Wells Fargo has a strong commitment to investing in our communities and enabling people to succeed financially,” said Lesley Eckstein, executive vice president and head of Community Lending and Investment at Wells Fargo. “We are proud to be a part of this program and support the important work these CDFIs are doing.”
CDFIs are private financial institutions that are dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.
“We believe CDFIs are essential partners in low-income communities and, for that reason, invested $10 million in the NEXT Awards,” said Rip Rapson, president of The Kresge Foundation. “The expansion plans of these winning institutions means more communities will have access to their investment capital and business acumen, both of which are critical to bringing about positive, long-term social and economic change.”
“The new era of the NEXT Awards will benefit low-income individuals and communities by spurring CDFI product and geographic expansion,” said Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network. “This year’s Awardees will not only expand their coverage, but implement innovative partnerships and business models to uncover opportunities to better serve more individuals and communities in all 50 states.”
The Awardees will be honored at OFN’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas on October 16.
About The Awards
The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrate the CDFI industry—its creativity, accomplishments and enduring importance. Launched in 2007, the program has awarded more than $50 million to the nation’s most promising CDFIs via a competitive awards process. The goal of the NEXT Awards for 2012–2016 is to recognize the NEXT generation of CDFIs working towards expanding coverage in underserved communities. The NEXT Awards are presented by Opportunity Finance Network with funding from Wells Fargo, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.