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Community First Fund Blog

Lancaster County Participating in Philadelphia Fed Program Focused on Inclusive Rental Housing

Lancaster, PA – Lancaster County is a participant in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s fourth Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) Cohort Program. The participating organizations are developing a multiyear plan to expand economic development opportunities for local renters and residents of color.

The cohort includes the following organizations:

These organizations will spend the next 14 months working with the Philadelphia Fed and its partners, Neighborhood Works America and Race Forward, to:

  • address the structural barriers that limit access to quality, safe, and affordable rental housing;
  • partner with local housing organizations to ensure that housing programs and tenant-based supports mitigate rental housing challenges; and
  • explore potential financing options and interventions that can increase housing opportunities within the community.

“One of the Federal Reserve’s goals is to strengthen regional economies,” said Theresa Singleton, senior vice president of the Community Development and Regional Outreach Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. “Communities that have safe and affordable housing options reach their full potential by attracting more workers, consumer spending, and economic growth.”

“Financial stability is nearly impossible when families are paying more than a third of their income on housing,” said Community First Fund President and CEO Daniel Betancourt. “We look forward to working with our long-time partners to view housing in Lancaster County through the lens of equity and inclusion. This will guide the actions we can take to help all families find safe and affordable places to live.”

“Housing isn’t just a roof over one’s head; it is an economic driver,” said HDC MidAtlantic President and CEO Dana Hanchin. “We will not realize Lancaster County’s full economic potential and vision for a thriving community for all unless we address this foundational issue. We are the solution. Together we can do better and do more.”

“Lancaster County is not unique in this housing crisis, but Lancaster is unique in our ability to work together,” said Tenfold CEO Shelby Nauman. “Through this process and with the support of many partners, we will recommend solutions which will not only benefit individual households that are struggling, but also our collective future prosperity. We know that our vacancy rate, lower than 95% of metro areas across America, is a limiting factor to our success.”

“The Lancaster City Housing Authority (LCHA) strives to provide affordable housing to the City’s most vulnerable residents. Over 63% of our resident population, residing at our Family sites, are a part of the Lancaster County workforce, contributing to the local economy,” said Barbara Ellis Wilson, executive director at LCHA. “In addition, the LCHA administers the Housing Choice Voucher program and partners with over 200 private landlords, Housing over 900 families throughout the city. The Lancaster City Housing Authority strives and is committed to building partnerships to increase and maintain affordable housing and social services, for the greater Lancaster Community.”

The cohort is also engaging in housing webinars, coaching from national housing leaders, racial equity training, and peer learning with the other 10 participating communities from across the country.

Visit philadelphiafed.org for more information about the 2024 ROC Cohort Program.

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About Community First Fund

Community First Fund is a private, independent non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to provide capital in places where it is not usually available. As a social and economic justice organization, we seek to create positive change in the community by providing individuals and families, entrepreneurs, commercial real estate, and affordable housing developers as well as nonprofits with access to loans for projects that generate jobs, create housing opportunities and pathways to home ownership, essential community facilities, and that help to revitalize communities.

Since 1992, Community First Fund has provided loan capital to small business owners, nonprofit organizations, and community development projects in Lancaster County and the surrounding region. To advance our vision of building equitable and vibrant communities, we were driven to address the needs of the consumer market. In 2022, we launched Community First Fund Credit Union to serve underbanked residents by offering ethical financial products and services and creating financial equity through wealth building opportunities. communityfirstfund.org

About HDC MidAtlantic

HDC MidAtlantic envisions a world where a safe, welcoming, affordable place to call home is open to everyone. We believe home shouldn’t be an impossible dream; it should be an attainable reality. We are resident advocates, trusted developers, property managers, community partners, and collaborators. We are part of the fabric of our towns and cities and have been working with our neighbors since 1971 to create real change and meaningful connections. As champions of the greater good, we are committed to advancing equity, we open the door to opportunities, and we are proud of the homes we build. HDC is a proud charter member of NeighborWorks America, a network of nearly 250 high-performing nonprofit organizations across the United States, including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, dedicated to affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.

HDC owns and/or manages over 3,400 apartments, providing housing that is safe and affordable to those with lower incomes, focusing on seniors, families, and individuals living with disabilities. Serving nearly 5,000 residents in 72 communities located in urban, suburban, and rural areas across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, HDC builds hope and opportunity for all residents to reach their full potential by creating, preserving, and strengthening affordable housing communities. hdcweb.org

About Tenfold

At Tenfold, we are committed to sparking the power in all people to achieve equitable housing and financial security. We walk alongside our clients and help them unlock a new path forward to a brighter future. By collaborating as one team, we can take a holistic approach to serve as your trusted community partner. We are focused on achieving quality, fair and affordable housing that is inclusive to all people through proactive coaching, education, lending, and advocacy.

Together, the Tenfold team is multiplying its impact by leveraging our team’s combined expertise and community partners to develop new and innovative ways of addressing the wide range of critical housing needs within our community such as homelessness, renting, homeownership, and community lending. wearetenfold.org

About Lancaster City Housing Authority

The mission of the Lancaster City Housing Authority is to provide housing for low to moderate income individuals and families.

We strive to foster the development, ownership and successful management of housing programs while maintaining high standards and recognizing the residents as our ultimate customer. Our goal is to be an active partner in the community, working alongside landlords and city government to empower citizens towards self-sufficiency. lchapa.com

You can download the full press release here.

Posted on: February 1st, 2024 by Marketing Team

Community First Fund Receives $30 Million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation from US Treasury CDFI Fund

Lancaster, PA – Community First Fund is pleased to announce the receipt of $30 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund.  Community First Fund was selected as one of 102 awardees from applicants requesting a total of $14.8 billion in tax credit allocation.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) helps economically distressed communities attract private investment capital.  This federal tax credit helps to fill project financing gaps by enabling investors to make larger investments than would otherwise be possible.  Communities benefit from jobs created and the development of housing and public facilities such as health, education, and workforce development entities.

“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and even more excited about the resources it will bring to the communities we serve,” says Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Fund.  “This program allows us to support projects that align with our goal of creating pathways to sustainable and vibrant communities that create jobs, provide affordable housing, grant access to healthy foods, promote access to healthcare and serve as a catalyst for even more community development initiatives.”

The program is directed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund and allocated to local Community Development Entities (CDEs) across the United States.  Community First Fund is a certified CDE. This allocation will give Community First Fund the authority to provide tax credits to investors who can then make qualified investments into impactful projects.

Community First Fund has now been awarded a total of $120 million in New Markets Tax Credits to revitalize low-income communities throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania since 2013.  Previous projects provided financing to: expand workforce development training opportunities, create grocery stores in areas designated as a USDA “food deserts,” develop affordable housing, and redevelop blighted space into commercial and mixed-use facilities.

 

About Community First Fund

Community First Fund is a private, independent non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to provide capital in places where it is not usually available. We seek to create positive change in the community by providing entrepreneurs, commercial real estate and affordable housing developers as well as nonprofits with access to loans for projects that generate jobs, create housing opportunities, essential community facilities, and that help to revitalize communities. www.communityfirstfund.org.

Posted on: September 25th, 2023 by Marketing Team