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Article Archives: Missouri

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]

Rebuilding a St. Louis Community, One Red Brick at a Time
The Red Brick Community Land Trust is a nonprofit devoted to building diverse and healthy communities in the St. Louis area. The trust is currently developing 15 affordable units for sale. The three projects include four townhouses, five condominiums, and six scattered-site, single-family homes. The units are a combination of new construction (the townhouses) and rehabilitation development (the condos and the single-family homes). All the units are in the low-income Bohemian Hill neighborhood. Red Brick selected these properties because they are on stable streets that can profit from the sale of improved units and the development of new in-fill properties.

Each of the three projects is in a different stage of development, and all three will require construction financing. The townhouses need approximately $1.2 million in private construction financing, the condos approximately $300,000, and the single-family homes approximately $540,000. Each home will sell for approximately $60,000. Funding sources include Federal Home Loan Bank grants and other city and state subsidies. Potential homebuyers will receive counseling through the trust, and a partner agency is providing down payment assistance. Banks can provide construction loans and technical assistance or may contact the trust about the future sale of foreclosed or other real estate owned properties.

For more information, e-mail Mark Bohnert, Executive Director, call (314) 436-1400 x18, or visit the Red Brick Community Land Trust Website
[Community Developments Investments, Spring 2010]

Equity Fund Provides Capital for Affordable Housing Development in Kansas City
The Kansas City Equity Fund works to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income families living in the 15-county Kansas City metropolitan area. The fund was established in 2006 as an affiliate of the St. Louis Equity Fund and used corporate investments and tax incentives to achieve its goals. The fund also has a predevelopment loan program to assist developers in financing initial project costs and to help them submit well-supported investment proposals for review by the fund's investment committee.

The funding pool comprises 10 investor banks and has nearly $7 million in equity investments providing high-quality affordable housing in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The fund benefits from its relationship with the St. Louis Equity Fund, which has more than $30 million in equity investments under management, representing 3,300 units of affordable housing.

The Kansas City Equity Fund is actively seeking additional investment capital. For more information, contact Erica Dobreff at (816) 753-0941 or
[Community Developments Newsletter, Fall 2009]

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]

Tax Credits to Stabilize and Revitalize Neighborhoods
The St. Louis Equity Fund. (SLEF) was established to stimulate the development of affordable housing units throughout the St. Louis region and Missouri. SLEF accomplishes this through corporate investment using primarily low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). Since its inception, SLEF has created 22 funds, which have invested in more than 100 projects to revitalize and stabilize housing in primarily low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. SLEF is seeking investors for its newest fund in 2008.

For more information, please contact John F. Kennedy, CFO, at (314) 436-7810 or e-mail him.

[Community Developments Investments, Fall 2008]

The Midwest Assistance Program Loan Fund
The Midwest Assistance Program Loan Fund (MAPLF) is a nonprofit organization that provides predevelopment loans to small rural communities in nine Upper Midwest States - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Loans can be used for clean water and wastewater projects that serve lower-income populations. Borrowers from MAPLF are rural communities and other public water or wastewater authorities with less than 10,000 in population.

Established in 2003, MAPLF has closed seven loans totaling $105,000, has $250,000 more in process, and has sustained no losses. Loans have been made in four of the nine states in MAPLF's service region. MAPLF is an affiliate of the Midwest Assistance Program, which provides engineering, training, and other consulting services to help small rural communities plan and implement water and wastewater improvement projects. MAPLF typically funds projects that have multiple layers of funding, including grants and loans from a variety of sources. Originally capitalized with $100,000 from the Midwest Assistance Program, MAPLF also funds its loans with the proceeds of a federal grant, and is actively seeking new investors. Banks can participate by investing directly into MAPLF, by referring prospective borrowers that do not meet conventional credit criteria, and by structuring MAPLF into financing packages in which the banks would like to participate.

For more information, visit or contact Tom Kopp at (952) 758-4334 or
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments Investments, Spring 2006]

Kansas City Revolving Loan Fund Aids Small Businesses
Many small businesses need fixed-asset financing for amounts less than the $120,000 minimum loan amount under SBA's 504 Certified Development Company loan program. The city of Kansas City, Missouri created the Neighborhood Commercial Revolving Loan Fund (NCRLF) to provide fixed-rate loans for less than $150,000 to small businesses in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods needing revitalization. Banks participate in the NCRLF program by providing loans at market rates for terms of up to 10 years to small business borrowers for 50 percent of the purchase price or cost of improvements; NCRLF loans 40 percent of the cost or a maximum of $50,000 for 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 5 percent using a lien position subordinated to the bank's lien position.

For more information, contact Brian Standage of the Economic Development Loan Corporation at (816) 691-2108 or visit
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Summer 2005]

Cooperative Financing in the Upper Midwest
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]

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]

Rural CDC Starts Up in Missouri
Joplin, Missouri serves as the commercial, medical, and cultural hub for the largely rural region that includes southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Eight local banks have formed the Joplin Capital Corporation (JCC), a for-profit community development corporation to promote economic development in economically underserved areas. JCC will provide "gap" small business loans, from $5,000 to $50,000, for entrepreneurs unable to arrange a complete package of conventional financing. JCC anticipates that a typical loan will finance a portion of a project's needs while leveraging funds from other sources. JCC has identified census tracts in which businesses must operate to be eligible for loans. Businesses receiving a loan from JCC must contribute to the overall economic goal of attracting, retaining, or creating new jobs. Eligible applicants can include existing businesses, start-up businesses, purchasers of an existing business, home-based businesses, or investors in commercial real estate. Interest rates will be based on market rates and priced according to risk.

For more information, contact Bob Stark, Senior Vice President, Hometown Bank, at (417) 782-0005.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2003]