Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sun-Times: Feds award $4.5 million to community lenders

Now here's some money neighborhood entrepreneurs should get in on:
A Treasury Department agency awarded a total of $4.5 million to three Chicago community lenders on Monday to help finance affordable housing, health-care clinics, neighborhood charter schools and local startup companies.

The lenders — non-profits lender IFF, the Chicago Community Loan Fund and the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association — will use the $1.5 million that each received to obtain larger loans from major banks. They then loan the larger amount to projects in needy neighborhoods at lower interest rates than would conventional banks.

For example, IFF will use its grant to borrow another $7.5 million in private capital in order to make below-market loans to non-profit projects. The total is expected to grow into $15 million in investments when other equity and financing are included. One of IFF’s investments is the renovation of a building at 1700 W. 83rd St. that will open this fall as a LEARN charter elementary school.

The Chicago Community Loan Fund helped finance the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Apartments — 45 units of affordable rental housing— in North Lawndale, and the savings and loan association helped South Side donut shop Dat Donuts, 8251 S. Cottage Grove Ave., open a second outlet at 1979 W. 111th St.

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