BlueHub Loan Fund, a national nonprofit affiliated with BlueHub Capital that connects low-income communities with flexible financing to generate equitable and inclusive economic opportunity, announced today it will receive nearly $5 million in grant funding from the US Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI Fund) Equitable Recovery Program. These funds will strengthen BlueHub’s ability to help low-income communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in long-term prosperity. The awards were announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen on Monday.
BlueHub Loan Fund will use this funding to continue its work addressing housing insecurity for low-income people across its 22-state footprint, prioritizing projects in Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, and the Gulf States of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, all areas hit hardest by COVID-19.
The award will be used to provide critically-needed: unsecured predevelopment loans; high loan-to-value acquisition loans to stabilize and/or preserve existing affordable housing units, and for construction of new affordable housing projects; and under-secured capital improvement loans. BlueHub will make these loans available rapidly and flexibly to support mission-aligned developers serving low-income communities.
“No one entity alone can meet the demand for housing in the US. It’s so important that CDFIs continue to work together and leverage capital from other sources to effectively address housing insecurity,” said Elyse Cherry, CEO of BlueHub Capital. “Conventional lenders and commercial banks typically do not provide the early-stage, higher-risk capital needed to move affordable housing projects forward. The immediate need for flexible, more risk-tolerant loans to finance the acquisition, development and rehab of affordable housing stock is greater than ever. BlueHub is proud to have received this funding to expand our work addressing this critical issue.”
Mission-driven real-estate developers often lack the liquidity and financing needed to cover predevelopment costs and to compete against market-rate developers to acquire properties for affordable housing. Existing property owners have trouble meeting financial requirements to cover the costs of improvements. With this Equitable Recovery Program award, BlueHub can help meet these needs.
“Housing insecurity long predates the pandemic,” said Mike Nilles, Interim President of BlueHub Loan Fund. “Soaring rents, job and income loss, and all-time low rental inventory have exacerbated an already dire situation, with low-income communities hit hardest. At this critical time, construction delays and cost increases make it more difficult to finance and build affordable housing, and a deteriorating stock of housing has further strained the supply nationwide. Many thanks to the CDFI Fund for providing financing to support us and other CDFIs to address the most pressing problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CDFI Fund awarded over $1.73 billion in grants to 603 CDFIs across the country as part of the Equitable Recovery Program.
Since 1985, BlueHub Capital has lent $2.4 billion, and leveraged an additional $12.6 billion, to projects that build inclusive prosperity in low-income communities across the country. BlueHub investments have helped to build, preserve or enhance over 29,000 units of affordable housing; support community health centers serving more than 197,000 patients annually; expand childcare facilities, schools and youth programs serving over 66,000 children and youth; and develop over 6.9 million square feet of commercial real estate and community facilities in communities.
About BlueHub Capital
BlueHub Capital is a national, mission-driven, nonprofit community development finance organization focused on building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. BlueHub uses innovative financial tools and has deployed over $2.4 billion (and leveraged over $12 billion) in capital to support projects that make communities more vibrant places to live. BlueHub has four distinct programs: BlueHub Loan Fund (community development financing), BlueHub SUN (foreclosure relief), BlueHub Energy (clean energy access) and One Percent for America (citizenship financing).