Wells Fargo NEXT Awards announced for 2014

16 September 2014

THREE COMMUNITY LENDERS WIN $8.25 MILLION TO TACKLE THE NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS

The NEXT Awards Provides Millions of Dollars to CDFIs to Expand Affordable Housing for Disadvantaged Families and Individuals

ofn-next-award2014-300w(PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 2014) –The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance announced today that it will award $8.25 million to three CDFIs– Florida Community Loan Fund, New Jersey Community Capital, and Rural Community Assistance Corporation– to expand affordable housing across the U.S. The Awardees are community development financial institutions (CDFIs), mission-driven community lenders, with innovative strategies to preserve and expand affordable housing in the disadvantaged rural, urban, and Native communities they serve.

The NEXT Awards recognizes CDFIs working in bold, new ways to expand coverage of responsible financial products and services in their communities. This year, the prestigious awards program focuses on the Future of Housing Finance and spotlights three CDFIs with compelling solutions to the affordable housing finance crisis.

Allison Clark, associate director of impact investing for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and NEXT Selection Committee Member said, "The housing crash that occurred several years ago still resonates today– especially in the distressed communities CDFIs serve– which is why the NEXT Awards is focusing on innovation in housing finance. We see a tremendous need in this sector and believe that these outstanding Awardees have developed promising products and services to help address that need."

The Awardees are:

Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF): Orlando, FL  FCLF won a $4 million NEXT Opportunity Award to expand its Florida Preservation Fund. This innovative program offers developers and property owners loans to purchase, rehabilitate, and keep multifamily rental properties affordable. FCLF's program focuses on smaller projects of 5-100 units, with a special emphasis on those with of 5-50 units because they are prevalent across Florida, but it is difficult to find financing for them. FCLF will use its NEXT Award to expand the program statewide, and develop new affordable housing loan products. FCLF projects $25 million in new financing over the next three years, which will fund up to 30 projects and preserve up to 900 units of affordable rental housing.

New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC): New Brunswick, NJ  NJCC won a $2.25 million NEXT Opportunity Award to expand its groundbreaking ReStart initiative, which prevents foreclosures and stabilizes communities. ReStart leverages private capital to bulk purchase underwater mortgages to create or preserve affordable housing by modifying homeowners' mortgages to keep them in their homes, or by rehabilitating vacant properties as affordable rentals or for-sale affordable housing. With its award, NJCC will expand the program in New Jersey, bringing support to 200 homeowners and repurposing an additional 200 affordable, multi-unit rental properties.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC): Sacramento, CA  RCAC won a $2 million NEXT Opportunity Award to expand its Development Solutions initiative. Development Solutions boosts development of affordable multi-family housing in underserved rural and Native communities in 13 western states. RCAC's award will enable it to fill a critical gap – playing new roles as a developer, guarantor, and partner – to build the capacity of local nonprofit partners. Program expansion will increase the supply of safe, quality affordable housing, especially on tribal lands. RCAC intends to complete $74 million in activity in FY 2015 and FY 2016, delivering more affordable housing and deeper impact in rural markets in the western U.S.

"The NEXT Selection Committee was impressed by the breadth and depth of the Awardees' strategies; they have each developed a unique solution to help solve the same problem – the shortage of affordable housing in the distinct communities they serve," said Lesley Eckstein, executive vice president and head of Community Lending and Investment at Wells Fargo. "On behalf of the Committee, we thank these CDFIs for their commitment to delivering safe, affordable housing to individuals and families."

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) presents the NEXT Awards with generous support from Wells Fargo and the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation. The NEXT Awards will honor the Awardees on Wednesday, October 15 at the OFN 30th Anniversary Conference in Denver, CO.

"What's important about the NEXT Awards this year is providing financing to CDFIs to help keep housing affordable in some of the hardest-hit communities in the country," said Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network. "These creative and innovative CDFIs have developed scalable, replicable models which provide more than affordable housing – they offer hope, and opportunity for all."

About the Awards

The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrate the CDFI industry– its creativity, accomplishments, and enduring importance.

Launched in 2007, the NEXT Awards have celebrated the innovation of the nation's most promising CDFIs by awarding more than $58 million through a competitive awards process over the last seven years.

It is the nation's largest awards program for CDFIs and in 2014 it will award $8.35 million dollars through two award poolsThe NEXT Opportunity Award and the NEXT Seed Capital Award– to high-performing CDFIs to expand their coverage strategies related to the Future of Housing Finance. Each year the NEXT Awards culminates in a ceremony at OFN's Annual Conference to spotlight Awardees and the entire CDFI industry.

About the Groups Behind the Awards

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune's 2014 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. MacArthur has been a leading supporter of the Opportunity Finance field since the early 1980s, investing nearly $250 million in approximately 100 groups nationwide. More information is available at: www.macfound.org.

About Opportunity Finance Network (OFN): OFN, the leading network of private financial institutions, creates growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low- income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2012, OFN's Network originated more than $33.3 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities, and financed development/rehab of 960,000 housing units, started or expanded nearly 94,000 business and microenterprises, and helped create or maintain nearly 600,000 jobs. More information is available at: www.ofn.org


Read the full press release here.

"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

"We appreciate the accomplishments your organization attains." - Robert Sucher, Executive VP

Sabadell United Bank

"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

“FCLF will help us have significant ongoing impact in West Lakes as we help families set roots in this community.” – Camille Reynolds, Executive Director

Hannibal Square CLT

"It is really working. FCLF is really touching low-income people." – Florida Community Loan Fund Founding Board Member

Sister Mary Heyser, RSHM

"FCLF understands and is a part of what we are doing: helping families have the American dream of owning a home." – Isaac Simhon, Executive Director

Housing Programs, Inc.

"FCLF demonstrates a mission-oriented philosophy that is compatible and supportive, broadens our platform and deepens our portfolio of products and services." – Kent Adcock, CEO

Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter

"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…

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

Dignity Health

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

Allegany Franciscan Ministries

"Thanks to FCLF, we are one step closer to providing a permanent housing solution for veterans and others seeking quality housing at an affordable price." – Carrie Davis, Executive Director

Wealth Watchers

“Thanks to FCLF we’re able to provide brand-new safe, affordable homes for 90 families in a sustainable mixed-use, mixed-income community." – Mitchell Rosenstein, Founder & Principal

Green Mills Group

"Thank you to our friends at FCLF. Your staff has been patient and helpful. We'll make you proud!" – Bill Lazar, Executive Director

St. Johns Housing Partnership

“FCLF addresses local community needs, which aligns with our core values. We appreciate your commitment to our communities.” – Mellissa Slover-Athey, Comm Reinv Ofcr

CenterState Bank

"Our relationship with FCLF provides the capital to achieve long-lasting impact." – Terri Murray, Exec Dir

Neighborhood Renaissance

"FCLF understood our context, embraced the project vision, and were willing to make an investment that others deemed as too risky." – Lynn Brockwell-Carey, Executive Director

Brevard Neighborhood Development Coaliti…

"We commend the important work of your organization, are glad to support its efforts." – Beverly Dabney

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

“The partnership with FCLF is very exciting for us – an essential component in providing greater access to fresh healthy food in downtown New Port Richey.” – Jeff Wright, Owner

Wright's Natural Market

"Our partnership with FCLF allows 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

"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.

Our Partners

Greater Heights Resident
FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
Neighbor Up, Affordable Housing
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
Armature Works
FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
FCLF Board and Staff
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
FLACDC Conference
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
Metro Min Grand Opening
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
Mathis Place Resident
Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
Casa San Juan Bosco and FCLF
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
Million Meals 2012
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
TD Bank Charitable Foundation
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
TD Charitable Foundation, TD Bank
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
ASPIRA of Florida Aspirantes
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee
FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
KIPP Jacksonville
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
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.
Valley Bank
Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Housing Programs, Inc.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
ASPIRA of Florida and FCLF
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
Neighbor Up and FCLF
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
RCRI Conference 2012
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
Axiom Bank
Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
duPont Fund and FCLF
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
DuPuis Pointe Miami
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
FCLF and Florida Housing Coalition
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
FCLF and Rep. Webster
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Emma Jewel Academy and FCLF
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
Haley Park Construction
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
BNDC Greater Heights
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
FCLF at Florida Housing Conference
FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
MTZ Carver Construction
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
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Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
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.