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Article Archives: Illinois

HFFI Serves Up Community Development Opportunities in the Midwest

IFF, a nonprofit lender and real estate consultant in Chicago, Ill., was among the recipients of funding from the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in September 2011. IFF received a $3 million grant and is using the award to leverage more than $25 million in additional capital. The lender will invest the combined funds in food-related projects in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The initial emphasis will be on full-service, for-profit grocery stores in “food deserts” in the metropolitan areas of Chicago; Milwaukee, Wis.; Dubuque and Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis, Mo.; and East St. Louis, Ill., where IFF has developed a pipeline of potential projects. Over time, IFF will finance and, where appropriate, directly develop a range of both for-profit and nonprofit retail food outlets as well as other types of food-related businesses, including rural business models.

IFF intends to work with one or more national community development financial institution (CDFI) partners to establish a fund for grocery-store lending across the Midwest. To share risk and stretch its capital further, IFF will seek the participation of other CDFIs, community banks, its regional and national bank partners, and foundations. Banks and foundations will be able to invest in the fund, and local or regional investors will be able to target funds geographically.

If you are interested in learning more about the fund, please contact Trinita Logue at (312) 596-5117 or
[Published in Community Developments Investments, August 2012]

Small Loans, Big Returns
Ways to Work (WtW) is a nonprofit, community development financial institution that helps lower-income people. WtW is designed to help borrowers attain financial independence and advance economically by having money to purchase dependable used cars to get to work or school. Since 1996, WtW has originated nearly 12,000 loans for more than $31 million and the average auto loan amounts to an average $3,400. Results of a 2006 WtW evaluation indicate that borrowers reported an average increase of 41 percent in their take-home pay. In addition, 67 percent of WtW borrowers report that they have used conventional financial services subsequent to receiving their WtW loans.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, WtW makes its loans from 43 offices in 21 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

WtW offices are located in social service agencies affiliated with the Alliance of Children and Families (ACF). ACF agencies screen and provide financial education to borrowers and service the loans. WtW local offices provide financial education to more than three persons for every individual who receives a loan. Investors in WtW include several national foundations, the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Treasury Department, local United Way offices, and financial institutions. Banks can be involved by investing in the national WtW loan fund, by referring to local WtW offices prospective borrowers who do not meet conventional credit criteria, by participating in local WtW loan committees, and by providing grants and in-kind donations to WtW.

For more information, contact President Jeff Faulkner at (414) 359-1448 ext. 2, e-mail him, or visit his Web site.
[Community Developments Investments, Fall 2008]

Chicago Loan Fund, an Active CDFI Lender

The Chicago Community Loan Fund is a nonprofit and certified community development financial institution serving the Chicago metropolitan area. It provides loans for affordable housing projects. Recent investments include:

  • Three loans totaling more than $1 million for an affordable housing project in a Chicago suburb and a mixed-income development and a mixed-use project in two Chicago neighborhoods.
  • A $500,000 predevelopment loan to a partnership headed by nonprofit developer Turnstone Development with the purchase of the Caroline Apartments, a rental building in Riverdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The building will be rehabbed and converted to 50 units of affordable rental housing. The fund is co-lending with a bank on this project.
  • A $250,000 construction loan to the nonprofit People's Community Development Association of Chicago for a 12-unit mixed income condominium development in the East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.
  • A $295,000 predevelopment loan to the nonprofit Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) for a new mixed-use building in the Brighton Park neighborhood that will consist of 60 affordable rental units for seniors, a daycare center, a community center, and office space for BYNC.

The fund has more than $17 million in assets. Since its inception in 1991, the fund has made more than 130 loans totaling approximately $25 million. The fund also provides technical assistance to prospective nonprofit borrowers, beginning with a regular series of one-day, intensive "Project Readiness" workshops. Banks can assist the fund by (1) referring to the fund's prospective borrowers that do not meet conventional credit criteria; (2) participating in structured fund financing packages; and (3) providing grants and in-kind donations to the fund.

For more information, visit the Chicago Community Loan Fund or contact Calvin Holmes at (312) 252-0440.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2008]

Illinois Facilities Fund Capitalizing $100 Million Loan Program
The Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF) is a nonprofit certified Community Development Financial Institution that provides loans, facilities planning, and development expertise to Illinois nonprofits for facility acquisition and improvements, new construction, and working capital and pre-development purposes. IFF's borrowers are nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities and special needs groups throughout Illinois, such as child care centers, health care clinics, charter schools, homeless and transitional shelters, and affordable housing developers. Investors in the IFF loan program include ten banks, nine foundations, the state of Illinois, and a number of persons through the IFF's Community Investor Fund. IFF now is raising $100 million of new capital over five years to continue its lending program. Structured as collateral trust notes with a 15-year term that will be issued semi-annually by IFF, proceeds from the notes will be used to purchase real estate and facilities-related loans made by IFF to nonprofit organizations in Illinois. Banks can be involved as investors in the IFF loan program, can be co-lenders with IFF, can refer prospective borrowers to IFF, and can provide grant funding to support IFF's operations.

Contact Trinita Logue at (312) 629-0060 or;
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Fall 2004]

Regional CDFI Benefits Illinois Co-Ops
Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF) is a for-profit, cooperatively owned loan fund that provides financing, training and expertise to small producer, consumer, affordable-housing, worker and land cooperatives in eleven states in the upper Midwest. NCDF today has more than $8 million in assets, has made hundreds of loans to cooperatives since its founding in 1978 and has contained losses since 1978 to 0.27 percent of dollars loaned. Investors in NCDF include banks, cooperatives, religious orders, foundations and others. Certified by the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund as a CDFI and as a community development entity, NCDF also has funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help develop and finance rural housing cooperatives, and NCDF last year established a community development credit union that helps members of cooperatives finance their membership shares. Banks are involved with NCDF as co-lenders, as investors and on the board of directors.

For more information, contact Margaret Lund at (612) 331-9103 or at NCDF's web site is
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Summer 2004]

Community Development Lending Leads to Improved Infrastructure
Great Lakes Rural Capital Assistance Program (GLRCAP) is a non-profit firm helping small communities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin install and improve drinking water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure and management systems serving lower-income populations. Banks can provide construction financing and long-term loans for these projects. GLRCAP, which works through local community action agencies, recently won a $700,000 grant to assist local communities with planning for affordable housing and economic development. Banks can provide loans for projects that GLRCAP helps plan.

For more information, contact Debra Martin at (800) 775-9767 or
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2003]

Introducing ICADC...
Illinois Community Action Development Corporation (ICADC) is a non-profit developer of affordable housing available to work in smaller Illinois communities that lack capacity to develop such housing. ICADC recently broke ground on its first project, a $4.3 million, 42-unit development in West Frankfort. Financing for this project is completed, but banks can provide financing and purchase Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in connection with other ICADC projects as they are developed.

For more information, contact Joyce Probst at (217) 789-0125 or
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2003]

Venture Capital in the Midwest
Venture Capital Fund Hopewell Ventures, L.P. in July 2003 received its "Go Forth" letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a key step toward becoming a Small Business Investment Company. Hopewell, raising up to $150 million of capital, will invest $1 to $5 million in early- to later-stage companies in a dozen Midwestern states -- between Nebraska and Ohio, the Canadian border and Kentucky -- that Hopewell says are underserved by venture capital sources. Banks can invest in Hopewell Ventures as limited partners, can refer companies needing an equity infusion, and can provide banking services to companies in which Hopewell has invested. Hopewell's sister fund, $34 million Adena Ventures, serving Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia, was the first New Markets Venture Capital Company designated by SBA.

Contact: Tom Parkinson at (312) 357-9600;;
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Winter 2003]

Micro-Loans for Child Care Businesses
In the wake of welfare reform, supporting the child-care industry is an economic development priority in Illinois. A partnership between a state economic development agency, several private-sector employers and a nonprofit business development organization is providing financial, management and marketing assistance to small day-care businesses in economically distressed areas in and around Chicago and now is expanding to other areas of the state, offering micro-loans from $500 to $25,000. Banks can provide referrals, funding, and expertise.

For more information, contact Lucero Trevino at (312) 814-8736.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Fall 2002]