Opportunity Finance Network Announces 2012 NEXT Award Winners

The Philadelphia-based Opportunity Finance Network has announced the winners of the 2012 NEXT Opportunity Awards.

Funded by Wells Fargo and the Kresge and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundations, the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance program recognizes innovative and high-impact CDFIs for their efforts to provide financing for low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. This year's winners — Clearinghouse CDFI in Lake Forest, California, and the Primary Care Development Corporation and Corporation for Supportive Housing, both in New York City — will receive grants totaling $8.25 million.

PCDC will use its $4.25 million award to finance community health centers and other primary care providers in impoverished communities beyond New York State and to provide primary care services to an additional 175,000 patients over three years. CSH will use its $2 million award to expand into ten new markets across the country and build nearly ten thousand affordable housing units for veterans, the homeless, the formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable populations. And Clearinghouse CDFI will use its $2 million award to expand into Nevada, where it will finance affordable housing, nonprofit organizations, and community redevelopment projects, creating a hundred new jobs a year and producing seven hundred affordable housing units over three years.

"We believe CDFIs are essential partners in low-income communities and, for that reason, invested $10 million in the NEXT Awards," said Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson. "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."