Our History

Florida Community Loan Fund serves the 3rd most populated state in the U.S. by providing flexible financing and staff expertise to help projects succeed and help organizations improve lives and low-income communities. Our Impact has provided $323 million in lending statewide, into projects totaling $942 million in construction expenses and economic development. We are a multi-faceted financing entity with a strong social conscience, a commitment to excellence, statewide partnerships and collaborations, accountability to our stakeholders, and clear focus on performance.

For over 20 Years we have provided Expertise and Capital to help projects succeed.

We know there remains much work to be done to realize our vision that opportunity and dignity exist for every person and in every community in Florida. Working together with borrowers and supporters, we continue to build strong communities in Florida.

Let's take a look back at milestones throughout FCLF history, in the outline below.


Sr Mary Speaking 250sq1994.

The Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) was founded in 1994 to provide a statewide source of flexible financing for delivering capital to low-income communities to support community development projects by non-profit organizations throughout the state. 

FCLF's first support came from the Campaign for Human Development, which provided a grant to facilitate planning and outreach to civic activists, bankers, religious leaders, housing and community development experts. Led by Sister Mary Heyser of the Sacred Heart of Mary, agreement was reached to form a board of directors and embark on efforts to capitalize "the Loan Fund." This Florida-based board of directors, then and today, is made up of one-third borrowers, one-third investors, and one-third technical experts. Today, FCLF staff and board is a well-established team of highly experienced community leaders and industry professionals, and our core management team has been in place for nearly a decade.

Initial investments in FCLF first came from the pennies of the pension funds of religious orders of nuns and brothers. Today FCLF's investors and supporters include nearly all leading financial institutions, major foundations including the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, interdenominational religious support including the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as state and federal governments.

Pictured, Sister Mary Heyser, FCLF founding board member.

FCLF Board c1999 300x2001996.

Under the wisdom and leadership of its founders, FCLF became Florida's first certified statewide Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in 1996. Today FCLF remains the only statewide CDFI serving all of Florida from Florida. Our first loan was for $50,000 to provide 7 single family homes for low-income households. In contrast, current loans from FCLF may reach $3 million or more; and to date we have financed over 4,500 housing units and 119 community facilities.

Pictured, Florida Community Loan Fund Board, circa 1999.

wexford hard hats sidebar2004.

FCLF became certified as a Community Development Entity (CDE) by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2004. Since then we have secured the largest cumulative amount of federal funding of any Florida-based CDFI entity through the U.S. Department of Treasury's CDFI Fund and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The NMTC Program continues to have a high impact on economic development and jobs creation.

Pictured, One of FCLF's early NMTC-financed projects, the University of Miami Life Science + Technology Park, developed by Wexford. This 250,000+ sq-ft facility has created or retained over 600 jobs in a highly distressed census tract in Miami.

henrietta townhomes 300x2002009.

FCLF received an Aeris® rating of 2 + AA; our most recent 2016  Aeris rating is 3 Star AA Policy Plus. This rating and certification system evaluates both financial and social impact performance to enhance investor confidence. In 2005, FCLF had been one of the first CDFIs to be Aeris rated, using industry standards and accountability measured by an independent third party. The Aeris rating confirms FCLF's sound financial performance and social impact through mission-based programs and activities.

In 2009 FCLF also received its first major support from the State of Florida to help preserve affordable multifamily housing.This emphasis on preserving affordable rental housing was continued in subsequent years as we expanded the Florida Preservation Fund to provide financing to keep rental housing affordable.

FCLF was able to help our non-profit borrowers survive the economic downturn caused by the troubles in the Florida housing industry. We remained patient and persistent, working alongside community development organizations to maximize the success of their projects. If not for our flexible capital, some of these projects may have come to a halt.

Pictured, Henrietta Townhomes, a multifamily housing community in West Palm Beach.

In 2013 FCLF was awarded our 5th NMTC Allocation Award from the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund, and we opened two new offices in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale

NEXT Award 2014 300x2002014.

2014 was a record-setting year for FCLF, as we deployed over $45 million in financing in a single year through our three distinct lending programs. Our board of directors and management developed a Strategic Plan that would guide FCLF through the next 5 years, which included a new vision and mission as well as goals to diversify the type of projects we lend to. 

In 2014, FCLF was one of three CDFIs awarded the national Wells Fargo NEXT Opportunity Award. This award recognizes mission-driven community lenders with innovative strategies to preserve and expand affordable housing.

Pictured, 2014 NEXT Award Winners: Rural Community Assistance Corp, Florida Community Loan Fund, and New Jersey Community Capital.

FCLF Board 2016 092016.

FCLF continues to grow and evolve based on its strong social conscience, a commitment to excellence, statewide partnerships and collaborations, accountability to its stakeholders, and a clear focus on performance. 

Florida Community Loan Fund is a multifaceted financing entity with $60 million in total assets, managing distinct loan programs in low-income communities or for the benefit of low-income residents:

  • Community Development Fund offering commercial loans for housing and community facilities fo nonprofit and mission-focused for-profit organizations;
  • Food Access Financing for projects that provide greater access to fresh, healthy foods in low-income, underserved, food insecure communities;
  • New Markets Tax Credit Program financing community facilities that provide jobs and stimulate economic development in distressed census tracts.

We also offer discounted loan rates for Green building and environmentally sustainable projects. 

Through these programs, FCLF is providing expertise and capital for community development and revitalization in both urban and rural communities throughout the Sunshine State, and our statewide footprint has given us the flexibility to direct lending to specific geographic areas as well as for specific purposes, as the needs and opportunities arise. Through all of these programs we consistently also work to match the needs of investors to the needs of the various communities in which we lend.

Pictured, FCLF Board of Directors, September 2016.

"We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with FCLF and working together to meet the needs of our communities." – Nancy Merolla, VP/CRA Officer

Florida Community Bank

"Without FCLF's support, we would not have been able to deliver the services our area so desperately needs. We look forward to a lifetime relationship." – Tom Griffin, CEO

The Transition House, Inc.

"Cade Museum is proud to be partners with FCLF and JPMorgan Chase. Thanks to the NMTC Program, we will provide a transformative asset to our community." – Jennifer Denault, COO

Cade Museum for Creativity & Inventi…

"We are delighted to partner with you to serve those most in need in our communities." – Eileen S. Coogan, President & CEO

Allegany Franciscan Ministries

"FCLF shows a clear strategy and demonstrated evidence of addressing prevalent community needs." – J. Reymundo Ocañas, Director, Corp Responsibility

BBVA Compass

"FCLF has proven its community impact and hard work. We are proud to partner with FCLF." – Leslie Watson, Analyst, Community Investments

Dignity Health

"FCLF made it possible for us to provide many special needs and low-income students with the educational services that they need." – Charlotte Tollefson, Director & Founder

Woodlawn Community Academy

"We consider FCLF a valued partner and strong advocates for low-income communities and families. We look forward to many more years of working together." – Jennifer Westerbeck, Vice President

US Bancorp CDC

"FCLF has a keen knowledge of Florida challenges & opportunities. We are confident our investment will be used to improve lives." – Kathleen Rizzo Young, Sr. VP, Community Development

HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

"Our partnership with FCLF will allow us to build an attractive, state of the art facility that patients, staff, and community will be proud of." – Bakari Burns, President-CEO

Orange Blossom Family Health

"The Fathers Table Foundation appreciates the services FCLF provides and the impact on the communities you serve. We believe in your organization and your mission." – Dan Gilardi, President

Fathers Table Foundation

"I recommend FCLF for attracting investment to the Florida Preservation Fund... I believe that says something about investor comfort." – Nancy Muller, Policy Director

Florida Housing Finance Corp.

"BankUnited understands the challenges facing our communities; we applaud FCLF's efforts. Thank you for making our community a better place to live." – Katrina Wright, VP Comm. Dev.

BankUnited

“We cannot thank FCLF enough for this partnership, creating permanent housing for our neighbors in need, and their commitment to Florida communities.” – Shannon Nazworth, President & CEO

Ability Housing

"Trinity Health is happy to partner with FCLF. We look forward to seeing the impact in the communities you serve." – Sr. Kathleen Coll, SSJ, Administrator, Shareholder Advocacy

Trinity Health

"We appreciate how the work of FCLF primarily benefits low- to moderate-income individuals and areas and supports the needs of our community." – Maria J. Thompson, Community Development Manager

Third Federal Savings

"FCLF was instrumental in making this important project a reality, bringing us one step closer to ending chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County." – Dr. Paul A. Ahr, President & CEO

Camillus House

"FCLF plays a significant role in sustaining vibrant and thriving communities. We are pleased to support your ongoing community based efforts." – Ernie Diaz, South Florida Market President

TD Charitable Foundation

"I appreciate FCLF for lending in rural areas, where many other lenders are exiting. From the first moment we spoke with FCLF staff, we felt we had a partner." – Jamie Kerr, President, AMCS Dev.

Griffin Heights

"We're thrilled to partner with FCLF to make our project a reality to serve generations of kids in our community." – Dawn Stanhope, President & CEO

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County

Our Partners

Emma Jewel Charter Academy
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Haley Park Construction
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
MTZ Carver Construction
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
Neighbor Up and FCLF
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FLACDC Conference
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
Casa San Juan Bosco and FCLF
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
FCLF at Florida Housing Conference
FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
Northern Trust Roundtable
FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
RCRI Conference 2012
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
Emma Jewel Academy and FCLF
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
Neighbor Up, Affordable Housing
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
FCLF and Rep. Webster
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
ASPIRA of Florida and FCLF
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
BNDC Greater Heights
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
duPont Fund and FCLF
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
FCLF Board and Staff
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
FCLF and Florida Housing Coalition
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
ASPIRA of Florida Aspirantes
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
DuPuis Pointe Miami
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
Million Meals 2012
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
Metro Min Grand Opening
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
TD Charitable Foundation, TD Bank
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
Casa San Juan Bosco and FCLF
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
KIPP Jacksonville
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
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Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.