During the month of February, and in conjunction with the bank’s 2014 Economic Forecast event, Citywide Banks raised $4,475 for the Mile High Community Loan Fund (MHCLF). MHCLF is a 14-year-old, 501(c)3 organization that invests in affordable housing and other community assets that create economic opportunity for low-income individuals and communities in Denver, Boulder, and other parts of Colorado. Citywide Banks matched individual and corporate donations during the campaign which was promoted throughout the bank’s social media.
“MHCLF is proud to have been selected by Citywide Banks for this unique match campaign,” expressed Jeff Seifried, executive director of MHCLF. “The visibility and matching contribution generated several new donors and contributions that support our outreach and technical assistance to nonprofits and affordable housing developers throughout the Denver metropolitan area.”
“Citywide Banks is proud to support MHCLF in its efforts in Colorado’s affordable housing,” commented Steve Ebner, first vice president of marketing at Citywide Banks. “We would like to thank all those that stepped up and gave a donation during the campaign.”
While the match campaign has ended, it is not too late to make a donation to MHCLF. Simply go to https://www.coloradogives.org/mhclf/ or contact MHCLF directly.
MHCLF works with local government entities, financial partners like Citywide Banks, and other investors to assist local charities and community organizations move their missions forward. The groups’ recent investments include Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, The Delores Project, Capitol Hill Action & Recreation Group, Longmont Housing Authority, Rocky Mountain Communities, Archway Housing, Empowerment, Inc., Boulder Day Nursery Association, Sisters of Color United in Education, Church in the City, Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity, Thistle Community Housing, and many more. Check out some of its recent success stories at http://www.mhclf.org/success_stories.htm.
Mile High Community Loan Fund was formed in 1999 as a community-based non-profit organization to build and administer a loan fund that provides short-term capital for developers of affordable housing. The City and County of Denver initially capitalized the loan fund and attracted early investments from Fannie Mae Foundation, Enterprise Foundation and US Bank to leverage the investment.
In the first three years, the organization dramatically increased investor support and broadened its market area to include the eight-county Denver Metro area. MHCLF was certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the US Department of Treasury and received a $1 million grant from the CDFI fund to further build the loan fund. MHCLF now has 18 loan fund capital investors and a total loan fund of $13.8 million.
In 2005, the Board and staff recognized the unmet real estate project financing needs in the Denver Metro area non-profit community. MHCLF began making its existing loan products available to non-profit organizations pursuing facility and community asset development projects that serve low-income individuals and communities.
In 2011, MHCLF completed a new Strategic Plan and under that plan, MHCLF has 1) expanded to serve a statewide market, 2) modified lending policies to provide more flexibility to meet current market conditions, and 3) added neighborhood revitalization projects as an eligible type of project.
While MHCLF has deep roots in financing affordable housing developments, it has evolved into a broader community resource. The 2008 name change from Mile High Housing Fund to Mile High Community Loan Fund reflects this broadened strategy for investing in community assets.
MHCLF has the ability to lend on projects very early in their development cycle, provide flexible loan terms, and respond quickly to keep difficult affordable housing and community facilities projects on track. MHCLF lends to a full spectrum of affordable housing and community development projects, including but not limited to special needs housing, emergency shelters, and transitional housing, early childhood education facilities, charter schools, as well as affordable multifamily rental and for-sale housing projects.
MHCLF has been successfully providing commercial real estate loans for affordable housing developments in Colorado for the past thirteen years. During this period, MHCLF has approved loans for $61,334,307 and closed loans for $49,923,782. MHCLF’s products include pre-development (both secured and unsecured), acquisition, construction, bridge, and mini-perm loans. MHCLF has leveraged over $775 million in 131 loans and helped create 5,800 units of affordable housing. Over 12% of the units developed/preserved have been for households at or below 30% AMI, 76% for households between 31-60% AMI and 8.6% for households at 61-80% AMI.
Seventeen community facility loans have helped develop over nearly 189,000 sq. ft. of community facility space. Over the next three years, MHCLF will make at least an additional 54 loans for approximately $20 million and develop/preserve an additional 1,600 affordable housing units and 95,000 sq. ft. of community facility space.
In 2013, MHCLF originated 13 loans (11 affordable housing and 2 community facilities) for $5.6 million and leveraged over $96 million of additional public and private financing. The loans will create 744 units of affordable housing (primarily multi-family rental units for households at or below 60% AMI) and 10,000 square feet of community facility space (including a charter school and early childhood education center).
MHCLF is an organization that combines private market discipline with public mission and is committed to delivering financial products to affordable housing and non-profit facilities developers not adequately served by conventional financial institutions. MHCLF voluntarily participates in the CDFI industry’s Assessment Rating System (CARS) and in 2011 was awarded an ‘A2’ rating due to its strong financial management and performance.
MHCLF has established a strong track record of providing predevelopment, acquisition, construction, bridge, and mini-perm financing for affordable housing and non-profit community facilities projects. Of all the affordable housing units created with MHCLF financing, 92% are for families at 60% AMI or less.
Most loans have a term between 12 and 36 months with mini-perm loans stretching to seven years. Interest rates are determined by the depth of affordability on housing units and the loan-to-value and term on non-profit facilities loans. The portfolio-wide average interest rate charged is approximately 5.75% – substantially below current market rate for these types of loans.
MHCLF is best known for its early stage affordable housing development financing which makes up 75-85% of annual loan volume. Approximately 80% of MHCLF’s borrowers are neighborhood development corporations, housing authorities, and other non-profit organizations that are developing/preserving multi-family rental projects serving households at or below 60% AMI. The predevelopment and acquisition loan terms offered by MHCLF provide financing conventional lenders simply cannot provide given the risk profile of the project and borrower and the regulatory environment.
Community facilities financing has become a substantial program for MHCLF and fills financing gaps that conventional lenders are not willing and/or able to fill. Current community facilities loans include a building acquisition loan to EarthLinks, a mini-perm loan to Boulder Day Nursery Association, construction loan for a Lafayette daycare/community center and a mini-perm to Sims Fayola Academy (Denver charter school in Green Valley Ranch).
MHCLF is now marketing its loan products to organizations pursuing commercial real estate projects that promote economic development in targeted neighborhood revitalization areas. MHCLF will finance projects that create jobs and/or provide services to low-moderate income households and communities.
MHCLF is an added value community lender with the ability to provide technical assistance to potential borrowers. MHCLF plans to coordinate and deliver at least three Nonprofit Facility Financing Workshops during 2014 and deliver one-to-one assistance to 20 potential borrowers.
About Citywide Banks
Colorado owned and family operated since 1963, Citywide Banks specializes in commercial lending, deposit accounts and treasury management solutions for businesses throughout Denver and Boulder. The bank and its team of more than 250 Front Range employees is a proud supporter of hundreds of local charities through employee volunteering, financial contributions, and social media awareness campaigns. For more information, please visit the bank’s website at www.CitywideBanks.com. Citywide Banks is Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.