New Markets Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced Dec. 16 the addition of five webinars for its Capacity Building Initiative’s, “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas,” series. The webinars, provided by the Opportunity Finance Network, will be held from January 2016 through April 2016. Topics will include partnerships for financial capability, capitalization strategies and customer acquisition. More information is available at www.cdfifund.gov.

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On Nov. 2, Platteville Common Council approved the Library Block development plan in Platteville, Wis. The plan includes the demolition of six existing buildings to make way for a mixed-use development. There will be a 43,000-square-foot, 72-room Holiday Inn Express, as well as 22,000 square feet of commercial space for a library. Additionally, there will be 55 underground and 42 surface parking lot spaces. Financing includes $3.8 million in NMTCs. Additional financing included a $6.8 million bank loan and $3.6 million in partner equity. Development costs are expected to total $16.1 million, with construction expected to begin in February.

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its schedule of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations Nov. 30. The evaluations listed will be conducted in the first quarter of 2016. A complete list of evaluation dates and the organizations to be evaluated is available at www.occ.gov.

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On Nov. 17, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it invited CDFIs to apply for its Small Buildings Risk Sharing (SBRS) initiative. The SBRS is designed to support and encourage the production and preservation of affordable housing. The program provides insurance and reinsurance for multifamily housing projects whose loans are originated, underwritten, serviced and disposed of by approved lenders, including CDFIs. Application information is available at www.hud.gov.

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On Dec. 1, the OCC released the CRA evaluations for November. There were evaluations for 25 national banks, federal savings associations and insured federal branches of foreign banks. Of the evaluations released, eight rated as outstanding, 17 rated as satisfactory and none rated as needs to improve or substantial noncompliance. The complete evaluations are available at www.occ.gov.

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On Nov. 23, the CDFI Fund recognized Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a microbusiness supporter, as the winner of its 2015 Innovation Challenge. The CDFI Fund created the Innovation Challenge to seek new ways to expand or increase investments in underserved communities across the country, especially in rural areas. AEO was awarded a one-year contract to test an innovative way of partnering community development financial institutions (CDFIs) with small businesses in low-income areas that need investment. AEO won the challenge with a proposal to develop a screening and assessment tool to match small businesses searching for loans from banks or online lenders with a CDFI that may be able to meet their needs when other lenders cannot. The CDFI Fund anticipates providing an update in 2016 on its lessons learned from this initiative.

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