CCLF Annual Stakeholders Meeting Looks to the Future

On June 9th, CCLF welcomed funders, investors, and community partners to its Annual Stakeholders Meeting held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The meeting reviewed CCLF’s portfolio performance in 2015 and first quarter 2016; informed partners about the direction of the upcoming strategic plan; highlighted notable borrowers; and offered investors and partners the opportunity to ask questions to further understand CCLF’s vision and strategic goals.


CCLF staff, investors and partners applaud presentation of 2015 Portfolio

Directors from CCLF’s Board, including Chair Matt Reilein and Vice Chair Tommy FitzGibbon, reviewed the Strategic Planning process that will set CCLF’s direction for the next four years.

Bob Tucker, CCLF’s COO and Executive Vice President of Programs, presented highlights of CCLF’s portfolio performance showing 44% of Loans closed in 2015 went toward housing, 36% to community facilities, 18% to commercial real estate and 2% to social enterprises. In 2015, CCLF closed 32 loans for a total of $20.1 million which created or retained 212 units of housing; created or retained 233 jobs; and supported 123,582 square feet of commercial retail/community facilities. Tucker emphasized that since CCLF’s creation 25 years ago, the organization has closed $143.5 million in loans and leveraged an additional $1.1 billion for metropolitan Chicago’s neediest areas. He also announced plans for CCLF’s $15 million New Market Tax Credit allocation and the $28 million Bond Guarantee Program loan from the CDFI Fund that will allow CCLF to offer longer term loans. CCLF President Calvin L. Holmes updated funders and partners on a new initiative, funded by Bank of America, to establish land trusts that will offer affordable housing in perpetuity to help stabilize neighborhoods still recovering from the foreclosure crisis. Chicago Lawn will be first community where properties will be acquired for a land trust.

Juan Calixto, CCLF’s Vice President of External Relations, notified investors and partners about a longitudinal study CCLF is conducting that documents the long term impact of the housing cooperatives CCLF has financed since 1993. He also reminded stakeholders that CCLF’s 25th Anniversary Celebration will be on October 13th at the Stony Island Arts Bank. He further shared that a new website is being developed and a 25th Anniversary Report will be produced as part of the anniversary activities. Maurice Williams, CCLF’s Vice President of Economic Development, reported on several initiatives he has undertaken to bring more commercial real estate development to low-income neighborhoods. Specifically, he highlighted the Chicago TREND initiative, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Chicago Community Trust, which aspires to drive community transformation by bringing catalytic retail development to underinvested commercial and retail corridors.


(top) Arthur Martin and CCLF Board member and former Board Chair John L. Tuohy share notes about the stakeholders meeting; Leon Walker, Managing Partner of DL3 Realty, LP, presents the upcoming Englewood Square project to CCLF stakeholders

(bottom) Perry Vietti, President of Interfaith Housing Development Corp., CCLF Board member Andrew Hugger and Lycrecia Parks, CCLF’s Director of Portfolio Management, talk after the meeting

The event closed with presentation from two exemplary CCLF borrowers. The first was Leon Walker, the managing partner of DL3 Realty, LP, which is the developer of the much awaited Whole Foods Market in Englewood Square. Walker shared a moving video about the lack of access to healthy food in Englewood and the need for the Englewood Square development, adding, “The work CCLF is doing is tremendous and sorely needed.” (To watch video, click here)

Perry Vietti, the President of Interfaith Housing Development Corp., stated Interfaith has worked with CCLF to develop many affordable housing facilities, including the Grove Apartments in Oak Park which has received several awards in the past few years including the Historic Preservation Commission of Oak Park’s Adaptive Use Award in 2014. Vietti told investors that, “It’s hard to get a project going, it’s hard to get money. That’s why we went to CCLF.” He stressed the impact that projects like the Grove Apartments have on communities, not only offering affordable housing but also creating jobs. He closed by thanking CCLF and stating, “This project only happened because people like you took risks.”