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Article Archives: Washington

Expanding Day Care and Early-Childhood Education

First Children’s Finance (FCF) is a nonprofit community development financial institution working to increase the availability of quality early-childhood education and day care for low-income families in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The nonprofit provides expertise and capital to other service organization and businesses. FCF offers services, including training and support for people interested in starting child-care businesses; strategic planning support for nonprofits; and consulting.

The FCF Loan Fund has made 281 loans totaling $8.1 million to small child-care businesses and nonprofit organizations. To date, nearly 50 banks, foundations, and businesses have invested in the FCF Loan Fund. Bankers can help FCF by investing capital in its loan fund; volunteering to serve as board and loan committee members; serving as advisors to the FCF Growth Fund; and making financial contributions to FCF.

For more information, contact Jerry Cutts, FCF President and CEO, at (612) 338-3023, or e-mail, or visit
[Published in Community Developments Investments, February 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]

A Growing Loan Pool in Washington State
In 1990, a group of 19 Washington state financial institutions joined together to create a revolving, shared-risk loan pool to provide a renewable source of permanent financing for multifamily affordable housing, as well as to reduce the underwriting and administrative costs for this complex financing.

In 1992, this shared-risk loan pool began operation as the Washington Community Reinvestment Association (WCRA). Today, membership has grown to 46 financial institutions, and the original loan pool has been expanded into three lending pools, raising WCRA's lending capacity to $105 million.

Since 1992, the WCRA has funded and committed to $199 million in loans representing nearly 8,000 units of affordable housing and nearly 30,000 square feet of economic development projects throughout the state of Washington.

WCRA provides multifamily permanent loans, special needs financing, assisted living financing, and economic development loans. It also makes available tax-exempt bond financing for affordable housing and economic development. Investor banks have also provided construction and bridge financing for WCRA-funded projects.

For more information, contact Susan M. Duren, WCRA, at (800) 788-6508 or visit the Web site.

Low Income Housing Institute’s Community Development Lending Opportunities
The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) was created in 1991 to develop and manage low-income housing throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington. In 1994, the Fremont Public Association of Seattle merged its housing development with the institute, creating one of the largest and most active low-income housing organizations in Washington. Working with 35 private and public funding partners, the institute raised more than $260 million in capital, which has supported the development of more than 3,000 units of housing for low-income families. Currently, the institute owns or manages 48 properties containing more than 1,600 housing units for low-income families, individuals, seniors, people with disabilities, and women and children at risk. The institute’s support services provide case management, financial literacy, technology training, referral services, and youth programs to help its residents achieve stability and security in their lives.

The institute is currently developing 13 new projects that will provide nearly 450 housing units and community services for low-income families. The institute periodically seeks private and public funding in the form of loans and grants to support its housing projects.

For additional information, call Sharon Lee, the organization’s director, at (206) 443-9935 or visit LIHI.

[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2008]