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 $542 million in lending statewide, into projects totaling $1.35 billion in total construction project costs 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 25 Years we have led capital to people and places outside of the economic mainstream and remained committed to communities across Florida.
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.
Take a look back at milestones throughout FCLF history in the outline below.
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 nonprofit organizations throughout the state. FCLF's Founding Board Member, Sister Mary Heyser of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, inspired civic activists, bankers, religious leaders, housing and community development experts to capitalize "the Loan Fund." Initial investments in FCLF came from the pennies of the pension funds of religious orders of nuns and brothers. Today FCLF's investors and supporters come from all across the U.S. and 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.
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 $5 million or more; and to date we have financed over 6,000 housing units and 150 community facilities.
Pictured, Florida Community Loan Fund Board, circa 1999.
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, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, DeSoto Club, built through FCLF's NMTC Program.
Coming out of the Great Recession stronger than ever, FCLF remained patient and persistent as we worked 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. 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 has continued in subsequent years through our Florida Preservation Fund and partnerships such as the Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund.
Pictured, West Village Art Lofts ribbon cutting, work-live artists lofts developed by Neighborhood Renaissance in Lake Worth, Florida.
2014 was a record-setting year for FCLF, as for the first time we deployed over $45 million in financing in a single year through our lending programs – a number that has continued to increase in subsequent years. 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.
By 2018, FCLF's total assets had grown to $71 million through management of our loan portfolio in low-income communities or for the benefit of low-income residents: In 2018, FCLF was recognized for our hard work and impact with these competitive awards:
9th NMTC Allocation Award of $45 million, to drive economic impact in distressed communities; and CDFI Awards totaling $2.6 million; including Florida's only award for HFFI (Healthy Food Financing Initiative) and Disability Finance.
Pictured, FCLF Board of Directors, September 2016.
FCLF continues to grow and evolve, having closed 385 loans to date that support and strengthen the community development infrastructure around our state, and with net assets totaling $100 million by the end of the year. We reacted swiftly to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating emergency relief loan programs for FCLF borrowers, and partnering with fellow CDFI CRF to offer Paycheck Protection Program loans. At the same time we implemented the FCLF Strategy for 2019-2024, our most ambitious plan to date.
FCLF maintained our Aeris rating of 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.
We continue to work to create solutions – for now and the future – and to ensure that Florida’s community development infrastructure – including the hundreds of nonprofits and mission-aligned businesses that we have the honor to serve – is able to thrive and continue to strengthen our communities and families. We do this with flexible financing through our loan programs:
- Community Development Fund offering commercial loans for housing and community facilities fo nonprofit and mission-focused for-profit organizations;
- New Markets Tax Credit Program financing community facilities that provide jobs and stimulate economic development in distressed census tracts.
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, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando & Osceola County new homeowner Justin and family.