The Kresge Foundation has announced first-round investments totaling $14 million to expand opportunity for low-income individuals in American cities.
Awarded through the Kresge Community Finance initiative, the program-related investments, which pair standardized loans with small operating grants, were awarded to six community development finance institutions (CDFIs) and development finance agencies (DFAs) working on projects aligned with Kresge's strategic priorities. The PRIs include $3 million to the Reinvestment Fund in support of creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta, and New Orleans; $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank for the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in the state's urban and coastal communities; $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England for the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing and healthy food retail projects in southern New England; $3 million to the Enterprise Community Loan Fund in support of efforts to revitalize the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit's East Jefferson neighborhood; $3 million to Boston Community Capital support of a collaboration with MassDevelopment, the state's economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in cities across the state; and $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of a partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density, and walkability in that Tennessee city.
In total, the foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least fifteen organizations. Additional KCF investments will be announced in 2017.
"We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs," said Joe Evans, portfolio manager of Kresge's Social Investment Practice, "and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities."