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Celebrating 20 Years of NeighborGood Partners Loan Fund

Updated: Feb 27

Dave Callahan | Loan Fund Director

The NeighborGood Partners Loan Fund is proud to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2024. With a target market of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Loan Fund has provided fair, responsible financing in underserved and disinvested communities during its two decades of existence. These loans have resulted in the development of critical affordable housing, community facilities, and other neighborhood revitalization projects.

Prior to the existence of the Loan Fund, NeighborGood Partners (then NCALL) made modest but important predevelopment loans to nonprofit organizations for affordable housing projects. Recognizing the value of these loans, and the need by these nonprofits for even more capital, our board of directors sought to create a more comprehensive approach to lending. This concept became part of the 2003 strategic plan, which included the board’s authorization to create the Loan Fund.

The first staff member of the Loan Fund was Karen Kollias, who was hired in early 2004 to spearhead the creation of the necessary infrastructure for a lending institution. Karen had spent a 30-year career at the vanguard of community development finance and was a critical hire for the organization. Among her various duties was the formation of a strong loan committee, drafting the loan policies, and establishing a capitalization strategy. Karen was also charged with seeking the organization’s certification as a community development financial institution, or CDFI. This certification, through the Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, was crucial for the Loan Fund to achieve its mission. The certification would establish the Loan Fund’s legitimacy as a lender committed to providing credible financial products to under-resourced communities and to borrowers that mainstream finance institutions typically overlook. After an arduous, months-long process, CDFI certification was received in October 2004, and the Loan Fund was born!

The Loan Fund was initially capitalized by only $500,000 in 2004. Today, five skilled staff members manage more than $30 million in assets. To date the Loan Fund has closed 300 community development loans to 90 different borrowers totaling $180.5 million. Of this total, $97.5 million has been Loan Fund capital and $83 million has been participation financing from banks and fellow CDFIs. The Loan Fund has helped finance the acquisition or development of more than 1,400 affordable units of housing, 72 community facilities, and 238,000 square feet of commercial space.

NeighborGood Partners appreciates the tremendous relationships and partnerships we have developed over the years. We thank all of our partners that have helped us grow into the strong CDFI that we are today. This includes the borrowers that trust us to be a part of their impactful projects, the capital providers with the confidence to invest in us, and the myriad of other partners that provide invaluable support.

Here's to 20 years of impact, and to the limitless possibilities that lie ahead as we continue our journey of building stronger, more vibrant communities, one loan at a time!


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