Funding opportunity on the horizon again

Supporters and proponents of the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), like Travois, are applauding two recent pieces of good news about the program.

If you aren’t familiar with CMF, it was created by the federal government as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 to award competitive grants to finance affordable housing projects and related economic development activities. Applicants can be either nonprofit housing developers (like our clients) or Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

In 2010, $80 million was awarded to 23 applicants (out of 230 applications), and Travois is proud to have helped a client win a $1 million grant and to be a part of that elite group of 23 organizations. Thirteen awardees were nonprofit housing organizations; nine were CDFIs, and one (our client) was a tribal housing authority.

Unfortunately, due to the economic downtown, no other awards have been made since that initial round.

Now, let’s get back to the good news. Late last year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to once again set aside funds for the Capital Magnet Fund and the Housing Trust Fund. That means another funding round will open in the future, and our clients will once again have an opportunity to win an award to bring housing to their communities.

We will be watching for the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), but in the meantime, if you have a project idea, please reach out to us and tell us about it. We may be able to leverage investor funds created by Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) or New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) projects to make the application even more competitive.

Eligible projects include preserving, rehabilitating or purchasing affordable housing for low income communities or developing physical structures for businesses and community service facilities, provided that these activities are part of a strategy for community revitalization that includes affordable housing.

The second piece of good news came last month when the U.S. Treasury published a report that shared the positive impacts from the 2010 round.

Highlights:

  • The 23 awardees disbursed over $62.3 million and committed another $17.7 million for their projects through 2012
  • This has produced a total project benefit of over $1 billion in affordable housing and associated community and economic development projects
  • The 23 awardees leveraged the initial awards 12 times with other public and private investments in almost 7,000 affordable homes.
  • Many Capital Magnet Fund investments are now providing housing for the nation’s elderly, disabled, homeless, veterans, and others in great need.

The CMF has proven to be an effective tool for providing housing for people in great need, and we look forward to helping clients to access these fund again.

Read the full impact assessment report here: http://www.cdfifund.gov/docs/2014/CMF/CMF_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

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