Loans: Community Investment
Featured Loan: 1801 E. Huntingdon
Building neighborhood spaces in Philadelphia’s Kensington Avenue
$475,000 participation in a $950,000 predevelopment loan led by Reinvestment Fund (September 2022)
Smith & Roller Holdings (S&R) uses real estate development, communications, social impact, entrepreneurship, and community engagement to inform their approach to community development. By partnering with people in city government, education, urban planning, community organizing, and the arts, S&R reactivates historically significant properties in Philadelphia and turns them into spaces that nurture creativity, commerce, and public engagement. In North Philadelphia’s Kensington and Harrowgate communities, Smith & Roller recently developed 40,000 square feet of commercial space for entrepreneurs of color alongside 116 units of housing that offer discounted rent for residents who volunteer through the organization’s Good Neighbors program.
Smith & Roller Holdings is currently working on the construction of a new five-story residential building in North Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. They are also renovating two existing buildings: a former industrial building and a former bank. This loan will fund architecture, engineering, and pre-construction management costs for the three buildings, which will ultimately contain 90 units of housing, more than a third of which will be affordable to people earning up to 80% of the area median income. The building will also contain 36 live-work spaces for creatives and a food hall, commercial kitchen, and training program for BIPOC and low-income entrepreneurs. The development will offer Kensington residents affordable places to live and work – an important step towards the organization’s long-term goal of building a thriving Kensington that truly serves the diverse community of people who call it home.
Black Cultural Zone: Building vibrant, thriving Black communities in East Oakland
$25,000 construction loan (August 2022)
BCZ is committed to addressing the displacement of Black people and communities in Oakland. One way that BCZ does this is by purchasing and operating commercial and mixed-use properties in East Oakland’s Black Cultural Zone. These spaces are then developed and reactivated for community use – specifically for Black people and Black businesses. Financed through NFF's zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will support the development of 68 affordable housing units, a market hall, food hub, and more. As they grow, BCZ will be able to activate even more community spaces for Black people, organizations, and businesses to flourish.
En2action: Supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs and communities in San Francisco
$250,000 bridge loan (June 2022)
En2action receives much of its funding from grants and contracts with the city and county of San Francisco. However, like many government agencies, San Francisco agencies pay nonprofits after work is conducted, not before – and COVID-19 exacerbated delays in these payments that already existed. Financed through NFF’s Bay Area Racial Equity Fund, which provides zero-interest loans with flexible repayment plans to BIPOC-led nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area, this loan will smooth over cash flow issues caused by delays in government reimbursement and provide some of the cash needed for En2action to meet payroll and focus on growing its essential programs. With support from this financing, En2action can continue building programs that foster equity and collaboration in BIPOC communities across the Bayview region.
Beech Interplex: Revitalizing a cultural landmark in Northern Philadelphia
$250,000 acquisition loan (April 2022)
In 1944, renowned African American printmaker Dox Thrash purchased a three-story brick structure located at 2340 Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Known today as Dox Thrash House, it holds rich historic and cultural significance in the community. Financed through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will provide a portion of the funding needed to acquire the Dox Thrash House and purchase a vacant lot adjacent to Beech Interplex’s current Dox Thrash development – investments that will ensure this historic building remains an anchor in the community for years to come.
Kensington Corridor Trust: Partnering with neighbors on Philadelphia’s Kensington Avenue
$250,000 working capital loan (April 2022)
Financed through NFF’s CARE Fund, which offers 0% interest loans to community-centered nonprofits led by and serving people of color, this loan will finance the acquisition of two properties into the trust – an important step towards the organization’s long-term goal of restoring control of Kensington’s buildings to Kensington residents. As they grow, KCT will be able to provide more spaces that foster economic equity and thriving communities.
New Kensington CDC: Revitalizing neighborhood spaces across New Kensington
$250,000 working capital loan (April 2022)
As it grows, NKCDC has identified a commercial corridor of 19 properties on Kensington Avenue to activate and revitalize as a part of its North of Lehigh Revitalization Plan. Offered through NFF’s CARE Fund, which offers 0% interest loans to community-centered nonprofits led by people of color, this loan will finance renovations for three existing corridor properties. With support from this loan, NKCDC will be able to activate more community spaces and provide critical health services to even more residents.
Greenline Access Capital: Supporting Philadelphia’s next generation of entrepreneurs
$50,000 working capital loan (January 2022)
NFF is new to offering start-up capital to nonprofits. However, Greenline is an excellent initial candidate for this type of loan; we were impressed by the organization’s clear mission, detailed business plan, tenure within the communities they aim to serve, and strong case for how they’d use this loan. Provided through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will support the salary of Greenline’s first loan officer and help them invest in the infrastructure they need to effectively serve their borrowers. We’re proud to partner with Greenline to invest in Philadelphia-area entrepreneurs who will now have the capital they need to launch businesses in their communities.
Urban Tree Connection: Reclaiming land, uniting neighbors, and building food sovereignty
$60,000 working capital loan (January 2022)
Offered through NFF’s CARE Fund, this loan will replace a collateral-dependent loan with a 5% interest rate with an unsecured, zero-interest loan. This will free up cash that would have been spent on interest on credit to invest into Urban Tree Connection’s infrastructure and the community it serves. It is also a first step towards one of Urban Tree Connection’s long-term goals: a partnership with a financial institution that shares the organization’s commitment to racial and economic justice.
East New York Restoration LDC: Supporting healthy communities in Brooklyn
$150,000 bridge loan (December 2021)
Last year, ENYRLDC began constructing an outdoor adult fitness center in an East New York community after learning from seniors in the community that they lacked the adequate facilities. At the same time, the organization saw an increase in demand for its existing programs: community cleanups, green programs, a job development center, job fairs, and placing/cleaning trashcans in identified stress corners in East New York. Their responsiveness to community need coupled with city contract payout delays placed an increasing amount of strain on the organization’s cash flow – strain that the executive director alleviated by making a personal loan to the organization. Financed through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will both pay off that personal loan and bridge the financing ENYRLDC needs to complete the fitness center while city contract payouts continue to be delayed. Effectively, this loan will ease cash flow pressures on the organization while supporting the health and wellness of East New York communities.
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition: Building Coalitions for Racial and Economic Justice
$250,000 bridge loan (November 2021)
Financed through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will bridge delays in payments on its government contracts with New York State and New York City. This loan will provide the organization with the space to build up its reserves through philanthropic sources – reserves it can draw from for future working capital needs and use to respond nimbly to the evolving needs of Bronx communities.